La máscara al revés [The upside down mask]

por Matilde Elena López

De pronto me encontré [Suddenly, I found myself]
en medio de la lucha [in the middle of the struggle]
dispuesta a combatir [ready to fight]
a no dar tregua. [to not let up.]
¿Eran molinos o gigantes reales? [Were they windmills or real giants?]
¿Contra quién combatía [Who was I fighting against]
cuando asumía la justicia [when I assumed justice]
y el fiel de la balanza? [and the pointer of the scale?]

¡Diké*,
Ángel de la Justicia,
Guardián de Eternidades!
Era yo misma [I was myself]
en medio del combate. [in the middle of combat.]

Soñé que liberaba [I dreamed that I freed]
presos atados en la cuerda [prisoners bound in rope]
esclavos de galeras [slaves in the galley]
¿Acaso vi castillos [Did I see castles]
donde sólo había Ventas? [where there were only Inns?]
¿Tuve errores de cálculo [Did I make a mistake]
cuando asalté Bastillas? [when I stormed Bastille?]

¡No! ¡No puede ser! [No! It can’t be!]
no es que viera el mundo [It’s not that the world was seeing]
—la máscara al revés—. [the upside down mask.]
¡Es porque el mundo [It’s because the world]
está al revés de veras [is really upside down]
y arreglarlo [and fixing it]
hazaña es de Quijotes! [is Quijotes’s feat!]

4 thoughts on “La máscara al revés [The upside down mask]”

  1. Can you please tell me when this poem was written? We read it in my Spanish class, but unfortunately the information that accompanied the poem did not give a date.

  2. I wish I could tell you, Roberto. I tried looking for an original publication date in Google Books, but no luck. I assume it was published during her lifetime which was, according to Wikipedia, February 20th, 1919 to March 11th, 2010. Google Books does confirm that this poem appeared in a 2001 textbook. If we make a leap and say that López was twenty or older when she published this, then that would leave us with a range from 1939 to 2001.

    1. This poem was originally published in November of 1976 in a collection titled El Momento Perdido. It was published by the Editorial Universitaria of San Salvador, El Salvador. I hope this helps.

      1. Karin, I just realized that I never thanked you for posting this response. Thank you very much.

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