General Aztecs Maya Tocuaro Kids Contact 19 Sep 2017/8 Reed
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Drawing of an Aztec wake

Heart of Jade

The Aztec equivalent of “a heart of gold” was “a heart of jade”. Who says the Aztecs were a heartless race? This is a short poem by the poet king Nezahualcoyotl. (Written/compiled by Ian Mursell/Mexicolore)

Nonantzin (Náhuatl)

Nonantzin: Ihcuac nehhuatl nimiquiz motlecuilpan xinechtoca, ihuan quemman ticchihuaz motlaxcal xinechchoquiliz.

Tla aca mitztlatlaniz nonantzin: tleica tichocaz xicnanquili: in cuahuitl xoxouhqui ihuan in poctli nechchoctia

Madrecita (Spanish)

Madrecita: Cuando yo muera entiérrame en tu fogón y cuando hagas tus tortillas llora por mí

Si alguien te pregunta: madrecita, ¿por qué lloras? Contéstale, la leña está verde y el humo me hace llorar

Dear Mother (English)

Dear Mother: when I die, bury me in your stove and when you make tortillas cry for me.

If anyone asks, why are you crying? Answer them, the wood is damp and the smoke is making me cry.

By Nezahualcoyotl (with thanks to Profa. Ruth Flores, Mexico City)

Aztec mother and child, stone figurine, National Museum of Anthropology, Mexico City (photo: Ana Laura Landa/Mexicolore)
Aztec mother and child, stone figurine, National Museum of Anthropology, Mexico City (photo: Ana Laura Landa/Mexicolore) (Click on image to enlarge)

To hear and ‘feel’ something of the melancholy that is embedded in this simple poem, follow the link below to hear Yolanda Matías García read her own ‘Dear Mother’ poem, spoken first in Náhuatl from Guerrero and then in Spanish, both to gentle guitar accompaniment. The poet speaks of the unconditional love she received through her mother’s dedicated care, devotion and constant sacrifices, sharing a lifetime’s moments of pain as well as happiness.

NOTE (2013): To contact Yolanda by email, and/or to request a copy of her CD click here.

Listen to Yolanda reading her poem ‘Madrecita’
See and hear Yolanda read her poem ‘Y aquí estoy’ on Youtube
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Here's what others have said:

Mexicolore replies: Muchas gracias, y muchos saludos cordiales, Yolanda. ¡Nos encanta tu poesía!
Mexicolore replies: ¡Muchas gracias, Gustavo - y muchas felicitaciones, Yolanda! Lindísima poesía. Esperamos que se difunda ampliamente...
Beautiful poetry to listen to, in Náhuatl and Spanish. RECOMMENDED.
Mexicolore replies: The webpage gives the following information, (in Spanish): The CD is available from: Álvaro Obregón 275-8. Col Roma. México, D. F., or write to: erixoproducciones@yahoo.com.mx. Hope this works!