FIGURE 15. The creation of pulque, from page 25 of the Codex Vienna.
A second Mesoamerican poetic form is the triplet, a structure in which three successive utterances are conceptually joined. A simple triplet was seen in the Cuilapan origin narrative, where three successive lines emphasized the dark and formless surface of the pre-creation earth:
|when all was chaos and confusion|
|the earth was covered with water|
|there was only slime upon the surface of the earth|
Several triplet forms appear in the Prayer to Copal. One form is fairly straightforward, rephrasing the same concept in three successive lines:
|Because he is seated in the punishment||Vatyi canya ra nu sha|
|He is seated in the air||Canya ra nu tatyi|
|He is seated in the earth||Canya ra nu ñu’un21|
A more complex type of triplet in the Prayer to Copal is composed of an introductory line followed by a couplet pair:
|And I am going to introduce||Ta cuani tyi’i|
|__Seven Tables||__ Utsa mesa|
|__Seven Adornments||__ Utsa shicana22|
A pictorial version of this second triplet poetic structure is shown below (Figure 15). This depiction of the creation of pulque is structured into two sets of pictures composed of three images each. In both sets, two small images are combined with one larger image. Translating these images into words (reading the bottom line of images first, from left to right, and then the top line, from right to left) one could produce the following triplets:
|He who cares for the nectar (the hummingbird man)|
|He who cares for the plants|
|Were commanded by 2 Dog to prepare the pulque23|
|The pulque goddess made it powerful|
|The goddess of the headless maguey|
|The goddess of the decapitated maguey|
21 Monaghan 1990, 135.
22 Monaghan 1990, 135.
23 Monaghan 1990, 138-139.