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Where will I go?

By King Nezahualcóyotl of Texcoco


Where will I go?

Where will I go?

To the road, to the road

That leads to God

Are you waiting for us in the Place of the Unfleshed?

Is it within the heavens?

Or is it in the Place of the Unfleshed only here on Earth?

We vanish.

We vanish.

Into his house;

No one abides on earth.

Does someone ask.

“Where are our friends?”


36 poems of King Nezahualcóyotl have been preserved and come to us from ancient manuscripts. King Nezahualcóyotl is known as “the Poet King” of the Nahuas. He is considered a distinguished upholder of pre-Columbian poetry, written in the Classical Nahuatl language of the 16th and 17th centuries.

The Nahuatl lyrical tradition inserts three thematic lines or poetic genres: songs to anguish, known as icnocuícatl; compositions dedicated to poetry, known as xoxicuícatl, and poems that sing to the divine, known as teocuícatl. These poetic genres are identified in the poetry of King Nezahualcóyotl.

King Nezahualcóyotl was a scholar, philosopher (tlamatini), warrior, architect, ruler (tlatoani) and poet. He ruled over the Texcoco city-state in Pre-Columbian era Mexico. King Nezahualcóyotl turned Texcoco into a center of cultural reference, where he promoted the work of philosophers, historians, and poets. Only the most cultured Nahuatl was spoken there.

King Nezahualcóyotl’s life has been documented through numerous sources. They are codices, testimonies in Nahuatl of the ancient tradition and chronicles and stories. Through these sources we know the dates of his birth and death and know Nezahualcóyotl as a true poet (cuicapicqui).