They have experienced the glory and the pain.
They have weathered through generous pride and torrid shame.
They have felt the hate and the love.
They have lived through peace and seen blood.
They worshipped then, as now, both sun and moon.
They have guarded their temples and slept quietly in their tombs.
They have fought savage invaders and their very own.
They have been dragged through dirt and scraped their bones.
They have suffered through individual and collective emotions.
They have seen painful strife and been betrayed by unwanted notions.
These are the people who looked down from the mountains and built a nation on a lake they named Texcoco.
These are the people of a land called México.
I wrote this poem in the early 1980s and had it published in 1984 in “Our World’s Most Beloved Poems”, a compilation of poetry by the World of Poetry Press. There’s not much information available now on WPP. They published my poem for free, but – of course – I had to buy the gigantic book in which it appeared. Yes, it’s amazing how naïve people can be at the age of 20.
Odd, but I never considered myself a poet. A writer, obviously; yet poetry generally ranked somewhere between Reader’s Digest and the local classified ads, as far as I was concerned. Still, outside of my blog, letters to a newspaper editor and a couple of anonymous romance inquiries circa 1990, it’s the only thing I’ve officially had published.
Image: “El Mercado de Tlatelolco” by Diego Rivera, c. 1935.
6 responses to “A Land Called México”
Well you are publishing here, Alejandro! And I think that you have the potential to write plenty more great poems and prose, if this one is anything to go by. Perhaps it is time to try again?
I won’t give up on my publishing ambitions. But I’m much more cautious now, especially with the self-publishing ventures. Theoretically, you’re not supposed to invest any serious money to get published, even with self-publishing. But all the firms I’ve examined so far – even Amazon – seem to want X amount upfront.
I checked out another company recently and found they had poor ratings from the local branch of the Better Business Bureau (BBB), an independent outfit here in the U.S. that rates various businesses and their practices based on a set of consumer criteria. I found them through a fellow blogger who just had his latest book published by them, only to discover the physical print sample copy they sent to him doesn’t have any page numbers.
Another option I’ve considered is publishing my completed novels here on my blog; say, a chapter per week. Then maybe someone with a large publishing firm will see it and have it published in formal book fashion. That’s been happening to other writers in recent years.
Ultimately, I won’t give up writing altogether – whether I get published in this lifetime or not. My purpose is NOT to get rich and famous. It is to write good fiction, complete with plausible characters and situations. If I can’t write, I might as well not live!
Sounds like to are very serious and thorough Alejandro! Good on you! I am a little unsure of investing money in self publishing ventures but that might be the only way for me to get published. What about the print on demand services with Amazon?
Yes, I’ve looked into all of that as well. I believe Amazon’s Create Space has phased out their print-on-demand service. But I’ll have to look again and continue more research into all of these publishing outfits. I’m definitely not so trusting and naïve as I was in 1983. I’ve grown very suspicious of people and corporations. Call me cynical, if you wish, but I consider it a matter of personal and financial preservation. Thanks!
I think it is being scrupulous and sensible!
Tried to long in again, this time using Google. No success. Just to say that it made you happy to see your poem, A Land Called Mexico published when your were twenty,
and I’m sure your family and friends rejoiced with you. Now you are sharing it with your cyber friends to enjoy also, and that in itself is a great reward. Please keep writing!!!