100 Refutations: Day 88

The Coward

If a poor dove
from her tender hatchlings
of wheat, a single grain for herself should steal,
without compassion you will slay her.
If the slithering puma
with greed, and without hunger
should a young calf kill
in a panic,
you hide, you scatter.


Unknown Incan poet

This canción was published for the first time in the Costa Rican journal El Repertorio Americano, having been translated into Spanish by Don Daniel Alomías Roble, a notable compiler of Peruvian Incan music. Daniel Alomías Roble (1871-1942) is perhaps best known for composing “El Condor Pasa,” popularized in the English-speaking world by Simon and Garfunkel. He was born in Huánuco, Peru to a French immigrant father and a Peruvian mother. When he was thirteen his mother sent him to Lima to study, and under the tutelage of his uncle he took up all manner of artistic endeavors. Eventually he devoted himself to music and the preservation of his Incan heritage, traveling all across the Andes to compile old Incan songs and compose many of his own.

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.