Sor Juana Inez de la Cruz 1648 (?) - 1695
Sor Juana Inez de la Cruz

1648 (?) - 1695 poetry stories
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"Tenth Muse of Mexico" and the first famous female poet. One of Mexico's most important voices.

Sor Juana Inez de la Cruz 1648 (?) - 1695

To Her Portrait (I have not found a Spanish version of this. I will keep searching.)

This, that you see, is merely painted deceit, That the work of art which is boasting allure, Made with these false syllogisms of color Is, in a sense, a rather devious scheme.

This, in which flattery has tried to pretend To excuse all horrors from over the years, And conquer across time numerous ordeals, Triumphing over both age and dementia,

Is a vain delusion of attentive care Is a delicate flower caught in the wind, Is a useless defense against looming fate:

Is an ignorant, errant activity Is an outdated labor and, closely viewed, Is a body, is dust, is a shadow, is nothing.

*** Sor Juana Inez de la Cruz. born: November 12, 1648 (there is some doubt as to the date) died: April 17, 1695

Writer, composer, philosopher. She was an unrecognized child born to a Spanish captain and a creole woman. Sent to live with a relative when she was young, de la Cruz was mostly self-educated because girls, and especially girls of mixed blood were denied access to learning.

She was fluent in Spanish, Latin, and Nahuatl. As a philosopher, other great minds would travel from all over Europe as well as Mexico to hear her ideas.

She fought for women's rights to education, a topic that did not sit well with leaders of the church and government.

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