What does Octavio Paz have to offer us from the vantage point of Critical International Relations (IR)? I argue that there are several distinctive registers in which Paz must be engaged. These include the recovery of the ‘concrete’ person, an appreciation of the unique role and value of criticism, a closer consideration of the epistemes of the global south and a candid acknowledgment of the sheer unpredictability of history. Besides this, Paz also offered sound pedagogic counsel to anybody keen to listen and retained a deep suspicion of ideologies combined with an ability to eschew political correctness whenever warranted.