Where Songs Begin

From my volume of Mesoamerican verse, Flower, Song, Dance: Aztec and Mayan Poetry (Lamar University Press 2013). This poem is the first in a collection of Nahuatl songs known as the “Cantares Mexicanos” or Songs of Mexico written down by indigenous scholars in the 16th century. The original title of…

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Ode 1.5 (Horace)

Ode 1.5 What slender boy bathed in a flowing smell Courts you, Pyrrha, on roses Within some pleasant cave? Whom do you braid that golden hair for, Simple and neat? Ah, how often He’ll weep at how faith and gods change, And he’ll marvel, unaccustomed, At this rough sea that’s…

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XLII (Catullus)

Here’s a put-down poem by one of my favorites, Catullus, one of a group of young Roman poets who revolutionized poetry in the 1st century BCE: XLII Come, Hendecasyllables, come one and all, From everywhere, as many as you may be, For an ugly, skanky slut thinks I’m a joke…

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