Piedra de sol
by Octavio Paz
Piedra de sol Death Quotes
How we cite our quotes: (Line)
you're a tree and a cloud, all the birds
and a single star, the edge of the sword
and the executioner's bowl of blood,
[. . .]
shepherdess of valleys under the sea,
gatekeeper of the valley of the dead, (113-125)
Death is strongly related to the feminine in this poem, since the speaker's obsession is with his dead girlfriend. In these lines he compares his beloved to Persephone, goddess of the underworld. It is starting to look like the best way to get back to her is to die.
threatened by death that is masked and alive,
the moment plunges into itself,
into itself like a closing fist, (168-170)
Death is not a quiet, welcome force but a violent and threatening one in "Piedra de sol." Even though most of the other people in the poem are dead, death itself is alive and is coming for the speaker. We're betting he's sleeping with a nightlight tonight.
your mouth tastes of dust, your mouth tastes
like poisoned time, your body tastes
like a well that's been sealed [. . .] (192-194)
The beloved, who is described as so vivacious and alive earlier in the poem, is long dead. Before now she has been compared to fruit and other fertile images, but now, when the speaker finally gets to taste her, it turns out she tastes pretty rotten. This is a shock, since up to now we've been waiting for a nice memory, and suddenly things aren't quite what we expected. We imagine the speaker feels the same way.