God or the assassin

Maria Mercedez Carranza Poem Poetry Soacha Colombian Writer

Last night, I threw a friend a baby shower. In thanks she brought me the complete works of Colombian poet Maria Mercedez Carranza, the South American nation’s most well-known female poet.

Carranza’s work is modern, powerful, succinct. The only thing that keeps me distant from her writing is the fact that she killed herself in 2003 at the age of 58.

Below is a poem that forms part of her 1997 collection El Canto de las Moscas (The Song of the Flies). The collection is comprised of 24 short poems, each dedicated to a different Colombian town. What the 24 towns have in common is that they are small and long-suffering.

The translation is mine, so I apologize in advance as I am a terrible translator. To me, translation is the tax law of the book world; it’s terribly important but terribly mind-numbing.


A blackbird sniffs at

the remainders of


It could be God

or the assassin:

it makes no difference now.

This post is part of my collaboration with Zeteo Journal’s Zeteo is Reading section. Please click here to read more. 


  1. brenda w

    This is a great poem, and I love your translation. Thank you for following us at The Sunday Whirl. Follow us on Facebook for a list of early words. I post them on Friday nights. Gather them now, and write a piece for tomorrow’s Whirl.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s