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Fable Summary
Octavio Paz

Everything you need to understand or teach Fable by Octavio Paz.

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Fable Summary


Octavio Paz's beautiful and mysterious poem re- flects many of the ideas that characterize his work in the early 1950s after his return to Mexico from Paris. Like the other verses in the volume Semillas para un himno (Seeds for Hymn) in which it appears, the style of the twenty-two-line, visually rich, unrhymed, unpunctuated poem shows the influence of surrealism, an aesthetic movement that aimed to expand human self-expression by rejecting rational control and deliberate intent in favor of uncensored images springing from the subconscious. The poem describes a mythical landscape at the beginning of creation whose unity is suddenly shattered. With the fragmentation of this previously undifferentiated world comes human language. The images presented in the poem are unexpected and startling while having familiar echoes from myths of the Christian tradition and ancient Mexico.

The imagery, tone, and subtle allusions in the poem combine with powerful effect to...

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