“The Street”, by Octavio Paz
A long and 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.
1. The poem “The Street”, by Octavio Paz describes an incident in which the narrator is walking down a street and feels as if someone is following only to discover that it is “nobody”. 2. The tone of this poem is, lonely. This tone is exemplified through the constant speaking of how he is on a street in which nobody is there with him and he is alone. One can imagine the narrator running in the darkness of the street and having the feeling of being followed, only to turn around and discover they are alone. The tone changes from lonely to panicky as the author being seemingly being followed, wants to discover who is following him. 3. The author achieved this tone by providing the phrase, “Everything dark and doorless,”, which is quite interesting considering how when you picture a street, doors aren’t the first thing you would imagine, so why would the author include that the street was “doorless”? The missing “doors” could be a symbol for opportunities. The author feels as if him being alone (no one to support, be there for him, etc.) also contributes to the reason why he has no opportunities in his life. He repeats the words “stumble” and “rise” near the beginning and again near the end of his poem, except both instances seem to be for him and then the man he is pursuing. The actions of the narrator and the man he is pursuing have very similar actions, considering how they both fall, rise, and turn around only to see...
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