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from the July/August 2020 issue

My Fire

Che rata

In this poem, Alba Eiragi Duarte contemplates the ways in which fire both encompasses and transcends the elemental, providing sustenance and companionship.


Listen to Alba Eiragi Duarte read "My Fire" in the original Avá Guaraní.


At light of dawn I rise and make fire,
and dry in nascent fire-gleam the space where dew once pearled. 
Joyful, joyful my fire,
burning hot for máte to be made,
I stoke the embers,
prod-stick crackling in the coals. 
The yams I brought I place beside the flame,
and manioc I toast
until its skin gleams gold;
my fire nimble skilled
makes food with which I’m filled.  


Translated from Avá Guaraní by Tracy K. Lewis.


“Che rata” © Alba Eiragi Duarte. By arrangement with the author. English translation © 2020 by Tracy K. Lewis. Spanish translation © Alba Eiragi Duarte. All rights reserved.

Che rata

Ko’ê hesakãvo apu’ãma ajatapy,
amokã tatarendýpe ysapy tyky rendaguemi. 
Hory, hory che rata,
ambyakúma ka’ayrã,
ahatapyña che rata,
che rata’y opiriri. 
Aguerúma che jety amoi tata ykére,
ahovere che mandi’o,
ajapo chugui pirekái,
che rata ikatupyry,
ombojy ha’uva’erã. 

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