The Poetic City


in Mexico City through History and Culture

Published by British Academy

Published in print May 2009 | ISBN: 9780197264461
Published online February 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191734625 | DOI:

Series: British Academy Occasional Papers

The Poetic City

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This chapter discusses the ways in which the poet and poetry have traced the invisible map of Mexico City and how this literary art protected and strengthened memories while also helping the Mexicans to live each day with an increased dignity. The focus of this chapter is on the reflections created by the poets and their poetry from the Tenochtitlan period to the early twenty-first century with emphasis on the mid-nineteenth century onwards. This period is specifically a century of prose and poetry that stood as testaments to the beauty, downfall and the rise of Mexico City. Through the poets, poetry has became an avenue for the rich illustrations of the transformations Mexico has undergone such as the rise of nationalism, and the emergence of a gender role and a new gender awareness. Writing in this period has become a source of enlightenment and poets specifically have played a prominent role as urban planners, insiders who narrated the city’s transformations, educators who enforced virtues, and biographers of emotions. From the King Nezahualcóyotl to the poet Eduardo Lizalde, poets have found ways of describing and celebrating the city without falling into despair, because the very naming and exploration of despair is a way of transcending it.

Keywords: poet; poetry; invisible map of Mexico; reflections; Tenochtitlan period; mid-nineteenth century; century of prose; writing; biographer of emotions; King Nezahualcóyotl

Chapter.  6930 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Society and Culture

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