Thu, 17 September 2009
Rebel nun of the 17th century.
Sister Juana Ines de la Cruz lived in the certainty that "all things come from God, who is the center and at the same time the circumference from which all the lines of creation issue and where they stop." Such was the life of this religious woman of 17th-century New Spain, who not only left her mark on Spanish-American literature but whose cry of revolt over their inferior position of women is timely even today.
Beatriz Berger. World Press Review. Oct 1994.
Here is your introduction to Sor Juana.
And here: http://www.latin-american.cam.ac.uk/culture/SorJuana/SorJuana2.htm
A Su Retrato
Este, que ves, engano colorido,
que del arte ostentando los primores,
con falsos silogismos de colores
es cauteloso engano del sentido;
este, en quien la lisonja ha pretendido
excusar de los anos los horrores,
y venciendo del tiempo los rigores
triunfar de la vejez y del olvido,
es un vano artificio del cuidado
es una flor al viento delicada,
es un resguardo inutil para el hado:
es una necia diligencia errada,
es un afan caduco y, bien mirado,
es cadaver, es polvo, es sombra, es nada.
To Her Portrait
the artifice of colors that here you see
testify to cunning and crafty grace
But if its false logic and gloss faded away,
we'd begin to see how illusory is the likeness,
how human vanity deceives us all into thinking
years erase the horrors those years
have etched into our faces
But to battle with time is insanity,
is a futile gesture you cannot hope to win,
is an absence of caution, is wit put aside
is a delicate flower caught in the wind
is a weak defense against what Fate's contrived
is a conquest doomed, and you know in your mind
it's a corpose, dust, shadow, a reed's insides
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