100 Refutations: Day 95

The Occasional Death of the Bullfighter

Sometimes, trusting too much on the pointed blade,
to the heavens he is raised by a horn dug deep while his belly rips,
and before a court of wicked omens, succumbs the seasoned fighter.
The beast then rolls its prey in blood-soaked sand:
while people gasp at the sight; the bullfighters, at their prospect.
Here the reason one fight must follow another,
To alternate one spectacle, with another.


Rafael Landívar

Rafael Landívar (1731-1793) was a Guatemalan poet and Jesuit priest. He was born in what was then called La Capitanía de Guatemalaand is now the territory of Guatemala, southern Mexico, and Antigua, and he died in Italy. He was a descendant of the conquistador Bernal Díaz del Castillo, and chose philosophy as his primary field of study. In 1749, he joined a Jesuit order and began working soon thereafter on what would become Rusticatio Mexicana, 15 books of poetry describing the regional fauna, flora, and customs using Latin hexameter. This text was translated into Spanish in 1897 by Antonio Ramírez Fontecha, in order to present it in the Exposición Centroamericana of the same year.

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.