Los Novios – A Boy and a Girl

I was just struck by the beauty of this poem by Octavio Paz, and especially the setting of the translation for choir by Eric Whitacre. I’ll put up a link later for anyone who hasn’t heard it.

[Los Novios]

Tendidos en la yerba
una muchacha y un muchacho.
Comen naranjas, cambian besos
como las olas cambian sus espumas.

Tendido en la playa
una muchacha y un muchacho.
Comen limones, cambian besos
como las nubes cambian espumas.

Tendidos bajo tierra
una muchacha y un muchacho.
No dicen nada, no se besan,
cambian silencio por silencio.

[A Boy and a Girl]

Stretched out on the grass,
a boy and a girl.
Savoring their oranges,
giving their kisses like waves exchanging foam.

Stretched out on the beach,
a boy and a girl.
Savoring their limes,
giving their kisses like clouds exchanging foam.

Stretched out underground,
a boy and a girl.
Saying nothing, never kissing,
giving silence for silence.



  1. Soulless · October 12, 2007

    A compelling twist in the end. ^_^ Glad to have shared a read. Thank you.

  2. zaphodfreek · October 12, 2007


  3. kalisakura · October 18, 2007

    you write very pretty!

  4. zaphodfreek · October 18, 2007

    This isn’t by me.
    It’s by Octavio Paz.

  5. zaphodfreek · October 20, 2007

    But thank you!

  6. Voodoo · December 21, 2007

    A delight.

    Have had the opportunity to read both Lorca and Paz today. Good.

    Really a beautiful poem. Thank you.

    • Julia · September 8, 2011

      Lorca ❤

  7. OFan · July 7, 2008

    You should listen to Eric Whitacre’s choral song set to this piece of poetry. AMAZING!

  8. zaphodfreek · July 7, 2008

    Obviously you haven’t read the small amount of words above the piece.

  9. rickz1 · July 8, 2008

    anyway thanks for putting up this poem – fascinating to see what the inspiration for the choral piece was – very moving. Have not read Paz before but will seek him out.

  10. lucesitam · December 18, 2009

    Hemoso poema, un beso es estar en el cielo pero ese mismo puede hundirte al más horrible de los infiernos, cuando estas al lado de ser amado deleitándote en el néctar de sus labios es tocar el cielo con las manos. Más cuando la persona amada se ausenta es el infierno latente en la nostalgia, cuanto puede encerrar un beso en fin ¿Qué es un beso? La gloria y el infierno.

  11. Meaghan · March 24, 2010

    Thanks for posting the original Spanish. I’ve been looking for it! I can’t get this poem (or Whitacre’s interpretation) out of my head- it’s haunting.

  12. elizabethparsons2012 · October 17, 2012

    Reblogged this on piazzanewyorkcatcher.

  13. Eric · February 11, 2013

    BYU singers…very nicely done.

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