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Fifteen Poets of the Aztec World Paperback – 31 Dec 2000

5.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Product details

  • Paperback: 328 pages
  • Publisher: University of Oklahoma Press; New edition edition (31 Dec. 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0806132914
  • ISBN-13: 978-0806132914
  • Product Dimensions: 14 x 1.8 x 21.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,554,177 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Who were the poets of Mexico in the days of Aztec splendor? What were the poems of a culture so diff....

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
This book is a gorgeous combination of historical context, cultural detail whilst giving the personal history, or face to these poets. A dream book for anyone wanting to get a perspective of the Aztec culture.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 4.6 out of 5 stars 8 reviews
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good book for students 16 Sept. 1999
By Francisco Portillo - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
This book is very neat and understable. It is very helpful for people who are interested in both literature and Aztec life. It was very useful for me, and help me to apreciate and understand the aztec meanings and ways of thinking. I learned a little about Netzahualcoytl and others on elementary school, but this selection was much much broader than all the official selections we get on the text books in Mexico. The main ideas, topics are there: cult of the death, temporarity of life, war, and canto, duality, and of course a strong humanism. I wish there were more aztec original text traslations to read. But, the difficulty to find original nahualt texts acccesible to the general public gives even more importance to works like this. So, I recomend the reading of this book.
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A good book that adds depth to the history of the Aztecs. 29 July 1999
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Miguel Leon-Portilla once more brings the ancient Mexica past to life. First he paints the scenery that was Aztec life. He then goes on to illuminate each distinctive poet. The most prominent of the poets was of course the poet king Nezahualcoyotl. From his flight into the wilderness to escape his enemies, to his murder of a rival strangely recreating the story of Bathsheba, and David, many of this poet-king's trials are recreated in the poetry. Mr. Leon-Portilla places all of the prince's poems in the proper context. Nezahualpilli was another interesting poet. Only one work is attributed to him by Mr. Leon-Portilla but it is a gem. This poem deals with the horrors of war. Reading it one can almost step back into the battle line of the Aztecs as darts fly back and forth. Fifteen Poets of the Aztec World is a fine addition to the ever increasing corpus of Nahuatl writings. It is accessible to novice, student, and scholar alike and without hesitation I recommend it to anyone wishing to add depth to the unfortunatelly shallow image that the Aztec Empire has acquired.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Aztec Poetry in Depth and Scope 30 Oct. 2012
By Neodoering - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
This excellent collection of Aztec poetry covers over a dozen major Aztec poets, both men and women, as they grapple with life, love, war, loyalty, the gods, sex, and of course death. Much of the poetry in this collection is in the form of songs, so they're several pages long and full of vivid, robust imagery that's meant to pull on the heart strings. Most of the poets herein were nobles or kings in satellite cities around the Aztec capital, so they were high-ranking people with a talent for slinging words together.

If you've ever read any Aztec poetry you quickly come to recognize some familiar themes in this collection. Comparing things to feathers, comparing things to chocolate, comparing things to jade and turquoise are big hits with the Aztecs and their vassals. Flower imagery is also frequent. Wondering what the point of life is when we're all fated to die is also a big topic, and loyalty to one's ranking superiors in the military and in governance is another major hit. On an amusing note, Aztec poets love to name themselves in their songs, which makes for lots of self-referential tunes. These familiar themes are well-handled and distinctly Aztec, giving this collection its body and flavor. The long length of many of the songs means you get a good taste of the subjects being treated, instead of unsatisfying little nips. There are also short pieces that are like regular poems, ten to twenty lines long, that deliver a quick stab at a topic and then are over with. I liked both the shorter and the longer pieces and thought this collection had a good mixture of both.

I am a fan of Aztec poetry and enjoyed this collection a lot. There is a lengthy introduction to the work that discusses Aztec poetry, Aztec poets and the Aztec society and culture that the poems came from. Each individual poet also has an introduction that talks about who they were, what level of society they came from, and events that happened to them in their lives. Some of these are quite engrossing, and on occasion I enjoyed the introductions more than the poems themselves! I'd recommend this collection to fans of world poetry who want a good introduction to the Aztecs as well as die-hard Aztec fans who want to delve into the word-play of this militaristic people.
5.0 out of 5 stars Fifteen Poets of the Aztec World 29 Jan. 2014
By M. Cunningham - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I liked this book and wished it was a more complete anthology of the poets' work. There was an deeper tone to the poetry than the brief blurb on the jacket. A more thorough examination of the different theologies of the Aztecs would also have been nice. Clearly, not everyone believed in blood sacrifice to the extent of killing captives or god-representatives.
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars 19 Aug. 2016
By P. Brown - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Good poetry book on the Aztecs.
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