100 Refutations: Day 86

The New Earth

Ñamandu Ru Ete, speaking to the messenger
********Well then, my son,
********go ask Karaí Ru Ete
********if he is willing to create
********his terrestrial abode.

Karaí Ru Ete, speaking to the messenger
********I am in no way willing
********to make a thing predestined to perish;
********I would unleash my rage upon it.
********So, tell him:
********He has no intention
********to create a terrestrial abode.”

Ñamandu Ru Ete, speaking to the messenger
********Well then, being so,
********go before Jakaira Ru Ete and ask
********if he is willing to create
********his terrestrial abode.

Jakaira Ru Ete
********I’m more than willing
********to create a future terrestrial abode.
********My earth is already full of omens of misfortune
********for our children until the very last generation:
********and yet,
********I shall spread the life-giving mist;
********the sacred flames,
********the mist that I shall spread upon every true being
********the one that circles the roads of imperfection.
********I will make the tobacco and the pipe
********so that our children can defend themselves.
********I will gently light with thunderless lightning
********every jungle-enveloped valley.


Unknown Guaraní poet

This poem tells the traditional Guaraní story of the creation of the world as relayed over the course of hundreds of years. Here the great creator, Ñamandu Ru Ete, asks one of the True Fathers of the soul-words to make the world, but he refuses because he knows what humans will do to the world and each other. Ñamandu Ru Ete then asks Jakaira Ru Ete to make the world. Jakaira Ru Ete accepts, promising to alleviate with his mist the misfortune that will inevitably befall humankind in the world he creates for them.

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.