Maria Sabina: Selections / Edition 1

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Overview


A shaman and visionary—not a poet in any ordinary sense—María Sabina lived out her life in the Oaxacan mountain village of Huautla de Jiménez, and yet her words, always sung or spoken, have carried far and wide, a principal instance and a powerful reminder of how poetry can arise in a context far removed from literature as such. Seeking cures through language—with the help of Psilocybe mushrooms, said to be the source of language itself—she was, as Henry Munn describes her, "a genius [who] emerges from the soil of the communal, religious-therapeutic folk poetry of a native Mexican campesino people." She may also have been, in the words of the Mexican poet Homero Aridjis, "the greatest visionary poet in twentieth-century Latin America."

These selections include a generous presentation from Sabina's recorded chants and a complete English translation of her oral autobiography, her vida, as written and arranged in her native language by her fellow Mazatec Alvaro Estrada. Accompanying essays and poems include an introduction to "The Life of María Sabina" by Estrada, an early description of a nighttime "mushroom velada" by the ethnomycologist R. Gordon Wasson, an essay by Henry Munn relating the language of Sabina's chants to those of other Mazatec shamans, and more.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780520239531
  • Publisher: University of California Press
  • Publication date: 10/1/2003
  • Series: Poets for the Millennium Series , #2
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 225
  • Sales rank: 1,028,321
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.25 (h) x 0.63 (d)

Meet the Author


An internationally known poet and one of the world's leading anthologists, Jerome Rothenberg has written over seventy books of poetry and criticism, and has edited nine groundbreaking anthologies of experimental and traditional poetry, including Technicians of the Sacred (California, 1985). He is Professor Emeritus of visual arts and literature at the University of California, San Diego.
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Read an Excerpt

FROM THE BOOK:

"In the chants of Maria Sabina, we can appreciate the interplay of individual invention and traditional liturgy within the oral creativity of a non-literate society. The recordings of her words that have saved them from oblivion give us the opportunity to glimpse the emergence of a genius from the soil of the communal, religious folk poetry of a native Mexican campesino people."--Henry Munn

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Table of Contents


Editor’s Preface

THE LIFE
Written with Álvaro Estrada
The Chants
The Folkways Chant
From The 1970 Session: Three Excerpts
From The Mushroom Velada: Three Excerpts

COMMENTARIES & DERIVATIONS
Introduction to The Life of María Sabina
Álvaro Estrada
From Teo-Nanácatl: The Mushroom Agape
The Uniqueness of María Sabina
Henry Munn
María Sabina in Mexico City
Homero Aridjis
From Fast Speaking Woman
Anne Waldman
Fast Speaking Woman & the Dakini Principle
Anne Waldman
The Little Saint of Huautla
Jerome Rothenberg
The Poet Speaks, the Mountain Sings . . .
Juan Gregorio Regino
The Song Begins
Juan Gregorio Regino

Selected Bibliography
Source Notes and Acknowledgments

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