To Sor Juana

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A tribute to Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz, a very early American poet. And a special thanks to Octavio Paz whose translation I cherry-picked for a stanza of this poem. It is Italicized below.

When I see the greening

convent ivy climbing

enclosing hearts given to God,

I remember Sor Juana.

 

When I hear the laughing

daughters kept for playing

amusing all the distant Lords,

I remember Sor Juana.

 

Whose words rang like valley bells:

           In those softening echoes are heard,
                                                               the bird,
                like flowing waters that sing
,
                                                         the spring,
                and whose phrases' shower,
                                                         the flower,
                like a green-throated salute,
                                                         the shoot.

 

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