100 Refutations: Day 13

Little-Little Man

Little-little man, little-little man:
set free your canary, for she wants to fly…
For I am she, little-little man:
let me leap.

I’ve been in your cage, little-little man,
little-little man, who gives me a cage.
I say little because you have neither understood me,
nor will you ever understand.

I don’t understand you either, but in the meantime
open for me this cage, I want to escape;
little-little man, I loved you half a wing’s worth;
don’t ask me for more.



Alfonsina Storni

Alfonsina Storni (1892-1938) was serendipitously born in Sala Capriasca, Switzerland during a brief family trip abroad. She is considered one of the foremost poets in all of Latin American literature. She had to earn a living from a very early age and worked as a traveling actress at the age of thirteen, later as a school teacher at nineteen, and as a salesgirl in Buenos Aires until the age of twenty-five. Her luck changed after the publication of her first book, which rightfully received wide acclaim. According to the Antologia de la Poesia Hispanoamericana, she spoke alongside Gabriela Mistral and Juana de Ibarbourou at a 1938 event hosted by the Ministerio de Instrucción Pública de Urugay. That same year, at the age of 46 and knowing herself to be incurably ill with breast cancer, Storni committed suicide in Mar del Plata, Argentina.

Lina M. Ferreira C.-V.

Lina M. Ferreira C.-V. 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.

English translation copyright (c) Lina M. Ferreira C.-V., 2018.