Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Two Poem Re-Drafts

These are both derived, a little loosely, from Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz. The first is based on the poem "En perseguirme, mundo, ¿que interesas?" and the second on the poem "En que da moral censura a una rosa, y en ella a sus semejantes". They are, of course, massively inferior to their models; Sor Juana is a hard act to follow. I do like how both of them are slowly shaping up, though.

Sor Juana's Apologia

Why persecute me, World, behind a thousand faces?
In what do I offend you, when all I am demanding
Is to place fair graces in my understanding,
Not my understanding upon those graces?

I regard not treasures nor mundane riches;
Thus tranquillity I have always bought
By infusing riches into my thought,
Not giving my thought to outer riches.

And I do not regard beauties that, taken,
Are looted spoils in every century;
Nor can treacherous wealth my pleasure waken;
For I hold it better in truth and verity
To let the vanities of life be shaken
Than vainly to waste my life in vanity.

In which she rebukes a rose, and in it those like it

Divine rose, you are grown in grace,
with all your fragrant subtleness,
a teacher with scarlet beauty blessed,
a winter lesson in lovely face,

a twin of human frame and doom,
an example made of graciousness vain,
in whom are unified these twain:
the happy cradle, the grieving tomb.

Such haughtiness in pomp, such pride,
such presumption! Disdaining mortal fate,
you later are dismayed and hide

when you show in illness a withered state
of which, by learnéd death and foolish life,
alive you lied, but dying demonstrate!

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