100 Refutations: Day 35

“Song, song of grief…”

Song, song of grief.
What evil enemy reigns,
Who annihilates us, who subjugates?
Not one alone reigns over all, yet overall alone we’ll die
But let it not be permanent
Our misfortune. On their own
Our tears flow

Like the rain, the reign.
Must it be like this?


Unknown Incan poet

Lina M. Ferreira C.-V. translated this poem from “La Primer nueva corónica y buen gobierno,” which is a letter written by Felipe Guamán Poma de Ayala to King Phillip III in an effort to describe the deplorable treatment of the indigenous people in the Americas by the Spaniards. The letter was lost in the journey, but found 300 years later in Denmark, in 1909.

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.