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Hombres necios que acusis - Sor Juana Inez de La Cruz

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Xipe Totec Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-26-09 06:51 PM
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One of the best poems ever written, by the premier poetrix of Mexico, Sor Juana Ines de la Cruz Y Azabaje.

Silly, you men-so very adept
at wrongly faulting womankind,
not seeing you're alone to blame
for faults you plant in woman's mind.

After you've won by urgent plea
the right to tarnish her good name,
you still expect her to behave
you, that coaxed her into shame.

You batter her resistance down
and then, all righteousness, proclaim
that feminine frivolity,
not your persistence, is to blame.

When it comes to bravely posturing,
your witlessness must take the prize:
you're the child that makes a bogeyman,
and then recoils in fear and cries.

Presumptuous beyond belief,
you'd have the woman you pursue
be Thais when you're courting her,
Lucretia once she falls to you.

For plain default of common sense,
could any action be so queer
as oneself to cloud the mirror,
then complain that it's not clear?

Whether you're favored or disdained,
nothing can leave you satisfied.
You whimper if you're turned away,
you sneer if you've been gratified.

With you, no woman can hope to score;
whichever way, she's bound to lose;
spurning you, she's ungrateful
succumbing, you call her lewd.

Your folly is always the same:
you apply a single rule
to the one you accuse of looseness
and the one you brand as cruel.

What happy mean could there be
for the woman who catches your eye,
if, unresponsive, she offends,
yet whose complaisance you decry?

Still, whether it's torment or anger
and both ways you've yourselves to blame
God bless the woman who won't have you,
no matter how loud you complain.

It's your persistent entreaties
that change her from timid to bold.
Having made her thereby naughty,
you would have her good as gold.

So where does the greater guilt lie
for a passion that should not be:
with the man who pleads out of baseness
or the woman debased by his plea?

Or which is more to be blamed
though both will have cause for chagrin:
the woman who sins for money
or the man who pays money to sin?

So why are you men all so stunned
at the thought you're all guilty alike?
Either like them for what you've made them
or make of them what you can like.

If you'd give up pursuing them,
you'd discover, without a doubt,
you've a stronger case to make
against those who seek you out.

I well know what powerful arms
you wield in pressing for evil:
your arrogance is allied
with the world, the flesh, and the devil!
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EFerrari Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-27-09 12:53 AM
Response to Original message
1. Mi mamita, my grandmother used to recite this to me from memory.
Edited on Fri Mar-27-09 12:53 AM by EFerrari
Also, Las Confesiones de El Cartujo except for the sex part which she would say silently, then out loud again when that part was over. lol
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rabs Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-27-09 01:30 AM
Response to Original message
2. Had not read Sor Juana since university days

so thanks for posting.

Interesting translation (including the Vosotros form). I have read that poetry is the most difficult genre to translate from one language to another.

Noted the translator went easy on men in the first two words: "Hombres necios ..." "Silly, you men ..."

It could easily have been "Stupid men ..." :-)

Off Topic: Know you like music and the other night was listening to "Guantanamera." It is a version by Los Lobos and the ending is .... well, will let you see it. Enjoy.

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Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-27-09 07:54 AM
Response to Reply #2
4. Going to listen to the Los Lobos Guantanamera over and over. The images were superior.
The first Dan Heller photos I've seen were posted by Lee (Say_What) from CNN US-Cuba policy, and Yahoo, etc.

The stunning progression of images up to the first photo of a prisoner being hauled away because he couldn't walk any longer was powerful. Worth far more than a thousands words.

So glad to hear Los Lobos again. They are just wonderful! Thank you.
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Xipe Totec Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-27-09 12:00 PM
Response to Reply #2
5. Thank you for the music; greatly appreciated.
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Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-27-09 07:45 AM
Response to Original message
3. The only poem I've ever seen take up so much intensity. This is amazing.
Thank you for posting this. I think there would be a long, LONG line of people reaching so far who would find this fascinating.

Thank you for an unexpected writing I'll remember a very long, long time.

It's excellent reading that EFerrari and rabs both are acquainted with this, too.
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