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!]

5 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.

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