The Spaniards are perfectly right to govern these barbarians of the New World and adjacent islands; they are in prudence, ingenuity, virtue, and humanity as inferior to the Spaniards as children are to adults and women are to men, there being as much difference between them as that between wild and cruel and very merciful persons, the prodigiously intemperate and the continent and tempered, and I daresay from apes to men
In Náhuatl, the language of the Aztec world, one key word for poet was 'tlamatine,' meaning 'the one who knows,' or 'he who knows something.' Poets were considered 'sages of the word,' who meditated on human enigmas and explored the beyond, the realm of the gods.
My home has a split personality. Some of the rooms are very French antique. Think Aubusson rugs, turquoise ceramic jugs, sandbag pillows, and broken birdcages. The other half is very Aztec. Neon ikat fabric pillows, vintage books piled up to the ceiling, and shutters from Bali.
To put it in a nutshell, the Central and South American high cultures of antiquity were entirely worthy of comparison with what the Old World had achieved by the time of the Han, the Gupta, and the Hellenistic age. The fact is that the Amerindian high cultures were a human modality of their own, and those Spaniards who came among them first would have had the sensation, if they had ever heard of such literature, of treading in a world of imaginative science fiction. But it was real, and the Amerindian achievements deserve all our sympathy and praise.
If you want a television, you go out and work for it and you buy it. If you want to learn about Aztec pottery, you take a course. But the relationship with God requires the active and passionate participation of you, yourself. You have to risk it. You have to abandon yourself to it. You have to leap into the fire. Nobody will do it for you; nobody can do it for you.
America may not realize it yet, but Latin prototypes are being created right now, and not just by me. They are these mambo kings and salsa queens, Aztec lords and Inca princesses, every Hernandez and Fernandez, whom this country will one day come to understand and respect.
See it was like this when we waltz into this place. A couple of papish cats is doing an Aztec two-step And I says Dad let's cut but then this dame comes up behind me see and says you and me could really exist Wow I says Only the next day she has bad teeth and really hates poetry.