100 Refutations: Day 39


In the Guarani language
a young Paraguayan girl
a sweet lament rehearses,
singing, on her harp, like this,
in the Guarani language:

“Cry, cry, urutaú,
on the branches of the yatay;
Paraguay is no more,
where I was born, the same as you!
Cry, cry, urutaú!

In the sweet city of Lambaré,
happy, I lived in my cabin;
then comes war, and all its rage
leaves nothing standing
in the sweet city of Lambaré.

Father, mother, siblings, Ay!
All in the world, I have lost;
in my broken heart
only a savage sorrow;
mother, father, siblings, Ay!

Beside a green ubirapitá tree,
my love, who fought
heroically in the Timbó,
is now buried there,
beside a green ubirapitá tree.

Ripping my white tipoy skirt
I wear as sign of grief,
upon that holy ground
upon it, forever on my knees,
ripping my white tipoy skirt!

They killed him, the cambá people,
powerless to make him kneel;
he was the last to leave
from Curuzú and Humaitá;
they killed him, the cambá people.

Oh heavens, why did I not die
when, triumphant, my love embraced me,
returned from Curupaití?
Oh heavens, why, did I not die?

Cry, cry, urutaú,
on the branches of the yatay;
Paraguay is no more,
where I was born, the same as you!
Cry, cry, urutaú!”


“Sin Documentos,” performed by Los Rodriguez.


Carlos Guido y Spano

Carlos Guido y Spano (1827-1918) was a poet and political activist who strongly opposed Argentina’s war against Paraguay. During his lifetime he worked as the director of the General Archive of the Nation, served as a member of the National Council on Education, and co-founded the Human Society in 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.