Maria Sabina: Selections (Poets for the Millennium, 2)
Maria SabinaISBN: 0520239539; 9780520239531;
A shaman and visionary--not a poet in any ordinary sense--Maria Sabina lived out her life in the Oaxacan mountain village of Huautla de Jimenez, and yet her words, always sung or spoken, have carried far and wide, a principal instance anda 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....