View Full Version : Rate-a-Poem: The Street

William Haskins
12-24-2005, 02:12 AM
By Octavio Paz (http://www.susanneangst.com/poetry/paz/)
1914 -

The Street

A long silent street.
I walk in blackness and I stumble and fall
and rise, and I walk blind, my feet
stepping on silent stones and dry leaves.
Someone behind me also stepping on stones, leaves:
if I slow down, he slows;
if I run, he runs. I turn: nobody.
Everything dark and doorless.
Turning and turning among these corners
which lead forever to the street
where nobody waits for, nobody follows me,
where I pursue a man who stumbles
and rises and says when he sees me: nobody.

12-24-2005, 04:27 PM
Sorry, Will - I thought this one was a stinker. Four thumbs down. Giving it the benefit of the doubt - maybe it sounds better in Spanish.

He must have written something good - we must sincerely hope he did since he apparently won a Nobel prize for literature.

Which brings me to reiterate - get your poetry out there, William - you write much better than this.

I'm going back to lurkdom now. Adios.

12-24-2005, 06:58 PM
I thought he drew a fabulously sad picture of a person feebly trying to get somewhere, going nowhere but down this same dark road without reason or understanding and with no one to turn to but himself, who sees himself and sees nobody, which I thought was clevery done.

The loneliness, low self-worth and deeply troubled isolation with no seeming way out in this poem was truly felt.

12-24-2005, 07:14 PM
It didn't do anything for me. With poetry, the easiest (and most subjective) pitfall is that the message to be conveyed can be so singular and personal to the poet that it won't cross the chasm and connect with anything in me. Much poetry, and I suspect much good poetry, is lost on me.

Probably a personal density issue.

12-25-2005, 02:04 AM
This one reminded me of a drunken night, stumbling and taking a face-plant on 16th Street and Mission—although I know it's meant differently. It worked for me in the way oneovu describes above, and I gave it a 4. Could be the wine I had last night putting me in that lost and fuzzy mindset. I should probably re-read it later.

12-26-2005, 02:18 AM
Not particularly moving, although it did have a fascinating element about it, i found it not quite fitting in parts, as if it had been carelessly patched together.

A. Hamilton
12-26-2005, 03:06 AM
While the cadence and language was quite plain and not especially appealing, the theme was quite compelling to me. I checked out the Author link you provided, and was quite pleased with some of his other work. I rated this a 4.