100 Refutations: Day 20


Here, beside the Latin sea
I tell the truth:
I feel in stone, oil, and wine
I, my ancientness
Oh, what an old man am I, holy God!
Oh, what an old man am I!
From whence my song?
And I, where do I go?

That knowing myself
begins to cost me
Do many moments of abyss
And the how and the when…

And this Latin clarity
what good did it do me,
at the doorstep of the mine
of the I and the not I…?

Happy dreamer,
I believe myself interpreter
of the secrets of the wind,
the earth and the sea…

A few vague secrets
of the being and the not being,
and fragments of consciousness
of now and yesterday.

How in the midst of a desert
did I begin to cry out;
and I watched the sun as if dead
and lay down to cry.


Rubén Darío

Félix Rubén García Sarmiento (1867-1916), better known as Rubén Darío, was born in the city of Metapa, Nicaragua (now known as Darío City). He was a poet, journalist, and diplomat, as well as the leading figure of the Latin American Modernist movement. He is often referred to as “el príncipe de las letras castellanas.”

Lina M. Ferreira C.-V.

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.

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