The Words of Nezahualcoyotl

David Bowles
3 min read5 days ago

The seventeenth cuicatl in Songs of the Lords of Anahuac, my English translation of the codex Romances de los señores de la Nueva España. It is headed with the Spanish note “de Nezahualcoyotzin” — “by the Revered Nezahualcoyotl.”

Amidst the flower mats
you write your songs,
your words, my prince,
revered Nezahualcoyotl.

Ah, your heart was patterned
with blooms of many hues.
You write your songs,
your words, my prince,
revered Nezahualcoyotl.¹

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David Bowles

A Mexican American author & translator from South Texas. Teaches literature & Nahuatl at UTRGV. President of the Texas Institute of Letters.