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.

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