100 Refutations: Day 93

The Foundation of the Human Language [Excerpt, Section III]

Having conceived the origin of what would become human language,
from the wisdom contained within his own divinity,
and because of his own creating wisdom,
he conceived the foundation of love.
Before existing on the earth,
amidst primordial mist,
before having any knowledge of any thing,
and because of his own creating wisdom,
he conceived of love.


Unknown Guaraní poet

This poem tells the traditional Guaraní story of the creation of language as relayed over the course of hundreds of years. According to Alfredo López Austin, writing in La Literatura De Los Guaraníes (1965), the language formed in this myth by the great Creator is “the future essence of human souls.” Immediately after creating language, the great Creator decides to make the love human beings can feel for one another.

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.