100 Refutations: Day 9

Shakespeare Imitation [Excerpt]

Tomorrow, yes, tomorrow. And then another day!
And after that, another follows,
Running, full force
Toward the oblivion of an immense eternity
So go the fleeting hours!
In a measured and monotonous track,
Lighting the path to ‘all-forgotten’
Toward which, pitiful humanity races forever.

A day just arrived and it has vanished:
Ephemeral as the next;
As eternal time continues,
Throwing into nothingness what it has barely crafted.
And man, mysterious guest
Of death’s daft feast, goes by in vain
Imperceptible grain of sand,
That desert winds pick up.


[And] in the [aged, time] does death anxiously invoke;
That fateful shadow friend,
Who, stretching out a cold, practiced hand,
Guides mortals to the final asylum.
Oh existence! Fugue of light
Or better yet, sad shade, vain and vagrant;
Like an actor who makes himself up
In a fugitive hour of pleasure.

To whom all listen in the moment;
Who in an instant grows haughty,
And who past this, disappears
Into obscurity.
You are like the tale an idiot
Tells in the turbulent grips of madness;
Full of sound, and fury and motion!…
Trapping, only, a vague darkness!


Mercedes Belzú de Dorado

Mercedes Belzú de Dorado was born in La Paz, Bolivia in 1835, and died in 1879 at the age of 44. She was the daughter of the general Manuel Isidoro Belzú, a one-time president of Bolivia, and the acclaimed Argentine novelist, Juana Manuela Gorriti. She was a writer, poet, and translator of varied works, including those authored by Víctor Hugo, Lamartine, and Shakespeare.

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.