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Flower and Song

Poems of the Aztec Peoples

Translated by Edward Kissam and Michael Schmidt

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Paperback
ISBN: 978 0 856464 23 2
Series: Poetica
Imprint: Anvil Press Poetry
Published: September 2009
216 x 138 x 15 mm
160 pages
Publisher: Carcanet Press
Also available in: Paperback, Hardback
  • Description
  • Translator
  • Awards
  • Reviews
  • The brilliant Aztec poetic tradition would have all but vanished after the Spanish Conquest in 1521 without the friars who painstakingly transcribed and preserved the poems in the years that followed. In this new edition of their translations, Edward Kissam and Michael Schmidt – two poets who spent formative years in Mexico – give us powerful echoes of the lyrical and philosophical songs, the songs of rejoicing, sorrow, ritual and war, the laments made by Nezahualpilli and others as the end of their empire approached, and the epics of myth and legend. Their introduction is a distilled account of the background to the Aztec empire, its way of life and its fall, to the role of poetry in Aztec life and to how the poems were preserved.

    Edward Kissam
    Edward Kissam, born in Florida in 1943, spent his formative years in Mexico. He studied at Princeton and at Magdalen College, Oxford, before returning to graduate studies at the State University of New York at Buffalo. His collections of poems are The Sham Flyers (1969) and Jerusalem and The People ... read more
    Michael Schmidt
    Michael Schmidt FRSL, poet, scholar, critic and translator, C107was born in Mexico in 1947; he studied at Harvard and at Wadham College, Oxford, before settling in England. Among his many publications are several collections of poems and a novel, The Colonist (1981), about a boy’s childhood in Mexico. He is general ... read more
    Awards won by Michael Schmidt Winner, 2016 Forward Prize for Best Single Poem - Sasha Dugdale's 'Joy', published in PN Review 227  (PN Review 227 )
    Praise for Michael Schmidt '...probably the most informative and entertaining poetry journal in the English-speaking world.'
    John Ashbery
    '€˜The most engaged, challenging and serious-minded of all the UK'€™s poetry magazines.'
    Simon Armitage
    'It has attempted to take poetry out of the backwaters of intellectual life and to find in it again the crucial index of cultural health.'
    Cairns Craig, Times Literary Supplement
    '...probably the most informative and entertaining poetry journal in the English-speaking world.'
    John Ashbery
    '€˜The most engaged, challenging and serious-minded of all the UK'€™s poetry magazines.'
    Simon Armitage
    'It has attempted to take poetry out of the backwaters of intellectual life and to find in it again the crucial index of cultural health.'
    Cairns Craig, Times Literary Supplement
    'It has attempted to take poetry out of the backwaters of intellectual life and to find in it again the crucial index of cultural health.'
    Cairns Craig, Times Literary Supplement
    '...probably the most informative and entertaining poetry journal in the English-speaking world.'
    John Ashbery
    '€˜The most engaged, challenging and serious-minded of all the UK'€™s poetry magazines.'
    Simon Armitage
    'It has attempted to take poetry out of the backwaters of intellectual life and to find in it again the crucial index of cultural health.'
    Cairns Craig, Times Literary Supplement
    '...probably the most informative and entertaining poetry journal in the English-speaking world.'
    John Ashbery
    '€˜The most engaged, challenging and serious-minded of all the UK'€™s poetry magazines.'
    Simon Armitage
    'It has attempted to take poetry out of the backwaters of intellectual life and to find in it again the crucial index of cultural health.'
    Cairns Craig, Times Literary Supplement
    '...probably the most informative and entertaining poetry journal in the English-speaking world.'
    John Ashbery
    '€˜The most engaged, challenging and serious-minded of all the UK'€™s poetry magazines.'
    Simon Armitage
    'It has attempted to take poetry out of the backwaters of intellectual life and to find in it again the crucial index of cultural health.'
    Cairns Craig, Times Literary Supplement
    '€˜The most engaged, challenging and serious-minded of all the UK'€™s poetry magazines.'
    Simon Armitage
    '...probably the most informative and entertaining poetry journal in the English-speaking world.'
    John Ashbery
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