Este amoroso tormento 

Today’s poem, by Sor Juana Ines de la Cruz seems to me to be a nice riposte to yesterday’s posting from Clement Marot. In yesterday’s poem, Marot lamented his fate at the hands of a young woman who spurns his amorous advances and declares he will never love again. Here, Sor Juana’s poem gives insight into the hesitations, uncertainties and anxieties of the woman who thinks she might be in love. All this explains why a woman might resist the courting of a man, for fear of making a mistake, and gives Marot an explanation for his rejection, from over 100 years later, and from the other side of the Atlantic ocean, where Sor Juana served in the court of the Viceroy of Mexico before taking religious vows.

The Lovers Torment (universal and contagious)….


Este amoroso tormento
que en mi corazón se ve,
se que lo siento y no se
la causa porque lo siento

Siento una grave agonía
por lograr un devaneo,
que empieza como deseo
y para en melancolía.

y cuando con mas terneza
mi infeliz estado lloro
se que estoy triste e ignoro
la causa de mi tristeza.

Siento un anhelo tirano
por la ocasión a que aspiro,
y cuando cerca la miro
yo misma aparto la mano.

Porque si acaso se ofrece,
después de tanto desvelo
la desazona el recelo
o el susto la desvanece.

Y si alguna vez sin susto
consigo tal posesión
(cualquiera) leve ocasión
me malogra todo el gusto.

Siento mal del mismo bien
con receloso temor
y me obliga el mismo amor
tal vez a mostrar desdén.

From <;

Torture, agony, melancholy, sadness, tyranny and fear are some of the attributes of being in love, according to Sor Juana. And, since these lead to scorn, in the final line, rejection of love is an obvious conclusion. I think this poem is not just a Baroque exercize in wordplay, reconciling opposites and embracing paradox, bit there is also a deeper psychological truth which does, indeed, resonate with anyone who has been in love. Successful lovers push past this phase, but many fall by the wayside as perpetrators or victims, as Marot’s poem from yesterday shows.

The Poetry Dude


2 thoughts on “Este amoroso tormento 

    1. I equated it to celos, jealousy, in the sense of distrust and visceral discomfort when faced with the uncertainties of a loving relationship which is not yet secure. Jalousie + angoisse, so uncomfortable that you have to turn away

      Liked by 1 person

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