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by Octavio Paz

Proem Questions

Bring on the tough stuff - there’s not just one right answer.

  1. What is the effect of putting Epicurus and Netzahualcoyotl together (the only two people named in the poem)?
  2. Why do you think the poet uses so many conjunctions (lots of "ands" in the same line)? What is the effect of this technique?
  3. How does the last, italicized line change the way we read the poem, if at all?
  4. Are prose and poetry really all that different from one another? Why do you think so? 
  5. Where would you draw the line between prose and poetry?

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