Study Guide

Duration

by Octavio Paz

Duration eText - eText

Text of the Poem

I
Sky black
Yellow earth
The rooster tears the night apart
The water wakes and asks what time it is
The wind wakes and asks for you     5
A white horse goes by

II
As the forest in its bed of leaves
you sleep in your bed of rain
you sing in your bed of wind
you kiss in your bed of sparks     10

III
Multiple vehement odor
many-handed body
On an invisible stem a single
whiteness

IV
Speak listen answer me     15
what the thunderclap
says, the woods
understand

V
I enter by your eyes
you come forth by my mouth     20
You sleep in my blood
I waken in your head

VI
I will speak to you in stone-language
(answer with a green syllable)
I will speak to you in snow-language     25
(answer with a fan of bees)
I will speak to you in water-language
(answer with a canoe of lightning)
I will speak to you in blood-language
(answer with a tower of birds)     30