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Flower and Song
Poems of the Aztec Peoples
Translated by Edward Kissam and Michael Schmidt
ISBN: 978 0 856464 23 2
Imprint: Anvil Press Poetry
Published: September 2009
216 x 138 x 15 mm
Publisher: Carcanet Press
Also available in: Paperback, Hardback
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.
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
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