Sunday, November 02, 2008

Sor Juana Rebukes the Rose

This is a new draft of my translation of Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz's sonnet on the rose. Previous drafts are here and here. It still needs work.

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

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

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

Such haughty pomp, such pride,
such presumption, disdaining mortal fate;
but later you, dismayed, will hide

as dying you show the withered state
of which, by learnéd death and foolish life,
alive you lied, but dying demonstrate!

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