Fifteen Poets of the Aztec World Paperback – 31 Dec 2000
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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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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.