Xochitepec

Nahuatl Poetry




Cuicatli quicaqui


Cuicatli quicaqui
In noyol nichoca:
Ye nicnotlamati
Tiya xochitica
Ticcautehuazque
Tlalticpac ye nican
Titotlanehuia
O tiyazque ichan.

Ma nicnocozcati
Nepapan xochitl
Ma nomac on mani
Ma nocpacxoxhihui.
Ticcautehuazque
Tlalticpac ye nican
Zan titotlanehuia
O tiyazque ichan.


My heart hearts a song,
I begin to cry.
Already I know myself.
We go among flowers.
We will leave the earth here.
We are loaned to one another.
We go to His house.

Put on me a necklace
Of varied flowers.
They are in my hands,
Garlands flower on me.
We will leave the earth here.
We are loaned to one another.
We go to His house.


Brigitta Leander, ed, In xochitl in cuicatl: Flor y canto, La poesía de los aztecas (Mexico: Instituto Nacional Indigenista, 1972), 138-139.

English translation © John F. Schwaller 2002 All Rights reserved




Nonantzin ihcuac nimiquiz




Nonantzin ihcuac nimiquiz
Mitlecuilpan xinechtoca;
Ihcuac tiaz titlaxcalchihuaz
Ompa nopampa xichoca.

Ihuan tla acah mitztlatlaniz:
Nonantzin, tleca tichoca?
Xiquilhuiz ca xoxohui in cuahuitl
Ihuan in techochoctia ica cecenca popoca.


Little mother mine, when I die,
Bury me beneath your hearth.
When you go there to make tortillas,
You will cry for me.

And if perchance someone were to ask you:
“Little Mother mine, why do you cry?”
Tell them that the firewood is still green
And the smoke makes you cry.


Brigitta Leander, ed, In xochitl in cuicatl: Flor y canto, La poesía de los aztecas (Mexico: Instituto Nacional Indigenista, 1972), 13.

English translation © John F. Schwaller 2002 All Rights reserved