Wind, Water, Stone

Octavio Paz

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for Roger Caillois

 

Water hollows stone,

wind scatters water,

stone stops the wind.

Water, wind, stone.

 

Wind carves stone,

stone's a cup of water,

water escapes and is wind.

Stone, wind, water.

 

Wind sings in its whirling,

water murmurs going by,

unmoving stone keeps still.

Wind, water, stone.

 

Each is another and no other:

crossing and vanishing

through their empty names:

water, stone, wind.

“Wind, Water, Stone” by Octavio Paz, translated by Eliot Weinberger, from THE COLLECTED POEMS 1957-1987 copyright © 1984 by Octavio Paz and Eliot Weinberger. Reprinted by permission of New Directions Publishing Corp.