Wordsworthian: 3 poems / Fernando Paz Castillo

Fernando Paz Castillo was born in Caracas in 1893 and came to be associated with the Generacion del 18 and the Circulo de Bellas Artes, while he was a student at the Universidad Central de Venezuela. These two literary groups took part in a student rebellion against the dictatorship at the time. Their week of protests was broken up but the idea of political activism remained a central component in the work of many of the poets associated with these two groups, including Paz Castillo. He worked for many years as a teacher in Carcacas and published his first book, La Voz de los Cuatro Vientos, in 1931. Paz Castillo spent several years in the rural district of Los Teques, where his poetry acquired a pastoral element, which viewed Nature as a model and source for writing. He later worked as ambassador and diplomat in various countries, including Canada, Jamaica, France and England. After his retirement, Paz Castillo was a prolific elder statesman of Venezuelan letters, publishing several collections in the 1960s and 1970s. He died in Caracas 1981.


I've walked so much
that I can no longer distinguish my traces.
I've lost the path so many times
and so many times I've embarked on new routes
that I don't know this point where I exist.

Subsconsciousness guides me:
a learned and forgotten thing,
a primary force.

Alone at the crossroads, I'm a center.
The suns revolve, stars pass by
and I persist, since I am idea.

I pause to distinguish and I don't distinguish.
There are drops, brambles and boulders
and roads that escape, conjoin,
fall apart in the massive afternoon.
Yet, even though I've lost my path,
subconsciousness guides me...

Today I feel a force within
that wants to lose itself,
that wants to break but is firm;
that wants escape, but is whole...

...And I've walked so much
That I can no longer know my traces.

La Voz de los Cuatro Vientos (1931)



The peace,
intimate, distant
that carries the audacious urge
of high mountains.
The sleeping shimmer
redder than red
less red
than red,
over a hectic flame
or an agonizing flame.
The indefinite
From where the look returns
after conquering the nothingness
of her origin.
The good word,
the mild word
who at the end of many battles
and triumphs and defeats,
she only knows how to understand, quietly.

Persistencias (1975)


Today's dawn
has been beautiful.

In the morning's
clear splendor
I felt
an unexpected awakening.

God bless this deep
where I've felt, something new,
like a hidden reflection
among the branches:
like some sun in my conscience.

God bless this hour
that will make me--so I hope---
a beautiful day.

A day of youth
among familial voices.

God bless this hour
that has given me dawn's fervor
to remain alive among humans.

Because one minute
filled by the grace of God
is enough
to resist so many things
that, despite years, still surprise!

Encuentros (1980)

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