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Ancient American Poets Paperback – April 1, 2005
Deliver Her: A Novel
The mother of a grieving teenager makes a decision that may shatter their family forever. Learn More
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My favorite section was the Nahua (Aztec) poetry of Nezahualcoyotl. If your concept of the Aztec people is that of an advanced yet bloodthirsty and militaristic race, you will be in for a surprise. The poetry of the Hungry Coyote is deeply spiritual and filled with the metaphor of flowers. I would go so far as to compare the lovely, lyric verses to something out of the Psalms--plumbing the depths of pain and then soaring to wild praise of the "Life Giver." There are some words that apparently do not translate into the English, these are left in the poems to provide the reader with a sense of sound and rhythm.
I will give you a small part of a poem:
Only a brief instant will it be thus: for a very brief time you are lent your flowers. Already they are carried to their house, to the Bodiless Place, which is also your house. Is this not so? With this knowledge, our sadness and bitterness perish. Ohuaya ohuaya.
You will not regret the purchase of this book.
The poems in this section are a delight to read. They cover many topics, from wedding poems to poetry for recapturing wayward lovers to poems for travelers to songs to celebrate the Mayan calendar. This is a good beginner's introduction to the Maya on the one hand and will also fill in gaps for all you specialists out there who have read extensively among the Mayan works and are looking for new works in your repertoire. I recommend this book highly.