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The Mexican Saga: a poetic journey through the 20-count
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Showing 11 of 11
I read this book in a single setting and enjoyed it. The poetry was in proper cadence and was easy to read. I will be looking forward to other of your books.
| May 7, 2012 |
Review of The Mexican Saga: a poetic journey through the 20-count
I want to thank you for the member giveaway copy of the Mexican Saga by Elaine Stirling.
I enjoy reading cultural work. I like to read the voices of those who are connected to the culture they are sharing. This authenticity is why I continue to read the authors I read and I choose to read cross-culturally.
When I opened the poem, I was initially impressed because of the artwork. When I read the poem I was confused. I didn't have a context for the 20-count, or the Mesoamerican continuity, and as a reader it made a difference in understanding the prose.
My initial impression of the artwork caused confusion once I started reading the poem. If the work is about the Olemics, the forefathers of the Mayans, why not use their images to adorn this work? Most people who are of a tribe or nationality want to be represented accurately.
In addition, the spiritualism or shamanism of a culture is complex. I'm not sure if the author's afterward supports the poetry as a spiritual work. While indigenous spiritual mysteries cannot be quantified in a western context, missing connections can be made by establishing the intent of the work upfront.
I also realize that I may have misunderstood the work because of my unfamiliarity with the 20-count. To help the reader, I think the poem should be prefaced with the author's background, intent, and some explanation on the 20-count, Olemics, (and other influences); before the reader embarks on the Mexican Saga. Without it, I missed the humor, creativity, and connection that the poem was written to inspire. In essence, I didn’t feel anything when reading the verse.
I appreciate the opportunity to review the Mexican Saga: a poetic journey through the 20-count. I commend the author’s attempt to use poetry to bridge complex worlds, unbounded by time and space, into one for the reader.
| Apr 29, 2012 |
A beautifully written story on many levels. Enlightening, illuminating, and thoroughly enjoyable.
| Apr 4, 2012 |
I'll be honest, at first I thought this poem was hard to follow because it jumped around, but once I got to the end of story it suddenly all made sense. Stirling's word choices are beautiful, and easily allow the reader to create their on visual story as they read her words. The manner in which this piece is written, keeps the reader actively involved in the story. I would've liked for a pronunciation guide and glossary to have been included for the Spanish terms, but I'm sure that this stems from my love of language learning. Overall, I enjoyed the book and would recommend this quick read to readers who are both lovers and no lovers of poetry.
| Mar 31, 2012 |
I wasn't quite sure about what to expect from this book. Mexican story of the long count in prose. It was written in a very interesting manner. I have to admit, I enjoyed the book. I'll have to reread it a few times to get the entire saga. I feel as if I have learned a great deal about the Mexican journey through this book. I recommend it to anyone who likes modern poetry.
| Mar 30, 2012 |
I wasn't sure what to expect with this poem, but as I like Mexican culture and enjoy learning about this areas history, I did enjoy this poem. I'm very glad it wasn't written in an old, traditional prose. It was lively and kept me wanting to read it... most poetry bores me. I think I'll need another read or two to pick up more to the tale.
(Received via Member Giveaway- Thanks!)
| Mar 23, 2012 |
I must admit, that when I received this ebook, I didn’t know what to expect. But I was very intrigued by the topic and that it is written in verse. Naturally, I assumed, that the verses will rhyme and that there will be certain rhythmic pattern to follow. With these assumptions I virtually opened the ebook and was in for a big surprise. Firstly, the book is written in loose verse so there are no obvious rhymes and the book more or less flows through the rhythmic patterns rather than being constraint by them. All in all, few pages in and my set of mind was fighting with the concept of the book and I felt like I was missing something. I read the words but it was as if part of it was lost in translation somewhere on the highway between my eyes and my brain. I pushed through non the less! Half way through the book I felt getting used to the concept and I started to appreciate the author’s thoughts and my mind began to transform the words into beautiful pictures. And then it was over! Just like that! I wanted more! So pretty much straight away I returned to page one and started again. This time with completely open mind and used to the flow of the book and what a difference that made! I chuckled few times, I actually paused few times to think about certain parts of the book, I was just on an incredible journey leading deep into the centre of an ancient culture and its philosophical concept.
My favourite passages:
You own only two things in life:
Your death, he held up one finger,
And perception, held up another.
Both must be intended, all else dropped.
Because anti-aging is neither whole nor true.
You are not a slave to age or time or
Dwindling youth. These are perceptions
Held in assemblage that, like convicts
In a cell too small, plot constantly to kill you.
I would highly recommend to read this book even if the topic isn’t really close to you. The book isn’t big but if you approach it with an open mind I can guarantee you, that it will broaden your horizons and you will be coming back for more.
| Mar 21, 2012 |
Ms. Stirling seems to capture the essence of Mexican poetry but in English. I kept feeling as I read the poem, that I was missing something, which is exactly how I feel when reading Mexican literature. I truly enjoyed the twist at the end and am still chuckling a bit at how beautifully she crafted that move. I enjoyed the poem. I may need to read it several times to get to the heart of it.
| Mar 19, 2012 |
Book Review (Poetry) - The Mexican Saga: A Journey Through the 20-Count by Elaine Stirling
The Mexican Saga: A Journey Through the 20-Count
Publication Date: December 2011
42 Pages (portrait view)
Profoundly influenced by Carlos Castaneda’s Teachings of Don Juan and the collapse of civilization predicted to occur at the end of the Mayan calendar, The Mexican Saga: A Journey Through the 20-Count by Elaine Stirling is a snap-shot reflection of the life of an extraordinarily gifted child as her life-journey takes her from shaman initiate to full Nagual (shape-shifter.) This is a rare, though brief, look into what it may have been like to be a member of the Toltec community and is a true coming of age prose-narrative written from inside a culture that was truly ahead of its time. I’ve always believed that this variety of poetry is one of the most complicated to create but, it is also the most rewarding for the reader, especially if the subject matter is of interest. Thematic poetry can be complex and is often difficult to maintain but Stirling has created an inspiring epic in less than fifty pages. If only every poet could be that succinct. In my opinion, no poetry is ever perfect. Even in the mind of the creator it is ever- evolving, always changing but Elaine Stirling’s voice, rhythm and word choice demonstrates that she is passionate about the subject, has studied it thoroughly, and easily provokes in the reader the unique emotional responses intended. And, that’s what all good poetry is supposed to do.
In The Mexican Saga Elaine Stirling has created prose-verse that blends ancient Toltec with contemporary Mexico and manages to successfully provoke considerable thought and image employing a compact and concise approach. She becomes the voice of an Indio shaman and her readers willing pupils. Mix two parts early spirituality, one part supernatural, and one part key, elegant phrasing and you’ll begin to appreciate the subtle nuances of The Mexican Saga. But this is not a re-telling in prose of the ideals and leanings of Castaneda or Don Juan. Rather, Ms. Stirling brings distinctive, creative, and clever ideas of her own to the table that draw you back to old Mexico where you can taste the flavors, hear the sounds, and experience the life of the high-desert philosophy as she traces the life of an emergent initiate. The only real complaint I have about this tightly woven book of poetry is that it was over well before I wanted it to.
My favorite passage:
"You own only two things in life:
Your death, he held up one finger,
Spooled around me,
And perception, held up another."
Recommended for poetry lovers, anyone interested in shamanism, those attracted to the works of Carlos Castaneda, anybody mystified or fascinated by the Mayan calendar or the Toltec culture, and those who truly appreciate exceptional thematic poetry.
4 out of 5 stars
| Mar 18, 2012 |
I didn't know at first what to expect but I so enjoyed this story written in a very unique poem form. I am not very familiar with Mexican culture but have always enjoyed the history of the Inca and Mayan cultures. I enjoyed the different types of prose in this poem and it was very easy to read. I read what the story is about at the end and it did help me to better understand the work. I truly enjoyed this new reading experience.
| Mar 15, 2012 |
I enjoyed this story written in poem form though there were parts and words I didn't quite understand. This is maybe because I am from New Zealand so not familiar with Mexican flora, fauna and lore. I enjoyed the different types of prose with in the poem and the flow was easy to read. I found it helpful to read what the story is about (at the end of the book) before I began the poem.
| Mar 13, 2012 |
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