100 Refutations: Day 2

Isle of Mine

With words that sing
With words that weep
With this long dismal wailing
At the world’s edge of days
And this penumbra
Big as the hills
With the muffled tam-tam
Of our plains, before dawn
With these words of hope
And those of agony

I see you again, isle of mine.

With words that laugh
And the blood spilt
With the restless wind
psalm-singing secrets
With the dead wave
And the moon’s mourning
With the vast field
of a singing assembly* of stars
Sweeping away the misfortune
of former time lost.

I see you again, isle of mine.

With your hot sand
And the rumors of the night
With the widowed hours
of the tic-tac of the pendulums
with your name
more beautiful than a pearl of sun
resting upon the archipelago
There, beneath sky’s blue

I see you again, isle of mine.
With your hot sand
With your dead wave
With the widowed hours
of the tic-tac of pendulums.


* Cumbite: An informal cooperative group of Haitians helping a neighbor get work done to the accompaniment of drumming and singing.


Marie-Ange Jolicoeur

Marie-Ange Jolicoeur (1947-1976) died at the age of 29 in Lille, France, having already authored four volumes of poetry, Guitare de vers (1967), Violon d’espoir (1970), Oiseaux de mémoire (1972), and Transparence en bleu d’oubli (published posthumously in 1979). According to Saint-John Kauss in La poésie féminine haïtienne, “She was, to the best of our knowledge, after Queen Anacaona, the second ‘cursed’ poetess in Haitian literary history.”

Lina M. Ferreira C.-V., with Addie Leak

Lina M. Ferreira C.-V. (100 Refutations translator and editor) earned MFAs in creative nonfiction writing and literary translation from The University of Iowa. She is the author of Drown Sever Sing from Anomalous Press and Don’t Come Back from Mad River Books, as well as editor, with Sarah Viren, of the forthcoming anthology Essaying the Americas. Her fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and translation work has been featured in journals including Bellingham ReviewChicago ReviewFourth GenreBrevityPoets & Writers, and The Sunday Rumpus, among others. She won Best of the Net and Iron Horse Review’s Discovered Voices Award, has been nominated for two Pushcart Prizes, and is a Rona Jaffe fellow. She moved from Colombia to China to Columbus, Ohio to Richmond, Virginia, where she works as an assistant professor for Virginia Commonwealth University.  Visit www.linawritesessays.com.


Addie Leak (100 Refutations French language editor) is a freelance translator and editor currently living in Amman, Jordan. She holds an MFA in literary translation from The University of Iowa and has published translations from French, Spanish, and Arabic in various literary journals, as well as in Souffles-Anfas: A Critical Anthology from the Moroccan Journal of Culture and Politics, edited by Olivia Harrison and Teresa Villa-Ignacio. She also coordinated the creation and publication of Lanterns of Hope: A Poetry Project for Iraqi Youth, a 2016 collaboration between The University of Iowa's International Writing Program and the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad.

Copyright (c) Marie-Ange Jolicoeur. English translation copyright (c) Lina M. Ferreira C.-V., 2018.