In The Bow and the Lyre Octavio Paz, one of the most important poets writing in Spanish, presents his sustained reflections on the poetic phenomenon and on the place of poetry in history and in our personal lives. It is written in the same prose style that distinguishes The Labyrinth of Solitude . The Bow and the Lyre will serve as an important complement to Paz's poetry. Paz's discussions of the different aspects of the poetic phenomenon are not limited to Spanish and Spanish American literature. He is almost as apt to choose an example from Homer, Vergil, Blake, Whitman, Rimbaud as he is from Lope de Vega, Jimenez, Dario, Neruda. In writing these essays, he draws on his vast storehouse of knowledge, revealing a world outlook of ample proportions. In reading these essays, we share the observations of a searching, original, highly cultivated mind.