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She-Poet, Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz, the most important poet in the America’s before Whitman & Dickenson


THE POET BY DAY

Portrait by Fray Miguel de Herrera (1700-1789) Portrait by Fray Miguel de Herrera (1700-1789)

Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz (1651-1695), a Catholic nun of the Order of Saint Jerome, born an illegitimate child of mixed race (Criolo/Creole), lived during the time when Mexico was a part of the Spanish empire. She was a writer, a playwright and a poet. Self-educated and hungry for learning, she established her educational goals when she was quite young.

These three famous quotes of hers are telling:

“I don’t study to know more, but to ignore less.”

“One can perfectly well philosophize while cooking supper.”

“…for there seemed to be no cause for a head to be adorned with hair and naked of learning…”

In 1989 the Mexican poet, diplomat and Nobel laureate, Octavio Paz wrote in The Traps of Faith that Sor Juana was influenced by Spanish writers of the Golden Age and the Hermetic tradition, especially the works of her contemporary, the Jesuit…

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