Author: Paz, Octavio ; Weinberger, Eliot
Publication Date: 10/17/1991
Nobel laureate Octavio Paz's premier long poem Sunstone/Piedra de Sol is here presented as a separate volume, with beautiful illustrations from an eighteenth-century treatise on the Mexican calendar.
Presented in Eliot Weinberger's excellent new translation with the Spanish texts en face, this is the 1957 poem "that definitively established Paz as a major international figure" (Sagetrieb). Written as a single cyclical sentence (at the end of the poem the first six lines are written again), Sunstone is a tour de force of momentum. It takes as its structural basis the circular Aztec calendar, which measured the synodic period of the planet Venus (584 days—the number of lines of Sunstone). But, as The New Republic noted, "this esoteric correlative design...does not circumscribe its subject. [It is] a lyrically discursive exploration of time and memory, of erotic love, or art and writing."