Piedra de sol
by Octavio Paz
Piedra de sol Theme of Death
Part of the speaker's struggle to get back to the past has to do with the fact that he is struggling with his own mortality; he is getting old, facing death, and trying to remember his youth. "Piedra de sol" is filled with images of death and dying, some of them poetic, and others kind of gruesome. But if you read to the end (we know, it's a long way), you'll see that mortality gets turned upside-down and becomes a birth. It's a nice thought after all that doom and gloom.
Questions About Death
- How does death show up in the poem? Does the speaker die in the end? Does anyone else die?
- How does the speaker find redemption in the end, even as he faces death? Is it through memory? Or something else?
- Why is death such a violent concept in this poem? The deaths described are mostly violent and tragic. What does this tell us about the speaker's outlook and experience?
- What do you think of the list of famous murders throughout history? What is the point of naming all those specific people if the poem is all about finding universal harmony through love?
Chew on This
In "Piedra de sol," death is presented as an inevitable and horrible part of life.
The speaker in "Piedra de sol" embraces death by finding a way to become both everyone and no one at the same time.