Con el dolor de la mortal herida,

Back to the late 1600s in Mexico for today’s poem from Sor Juana Ines de la Cruz, It is a sonnet on the subject of the emotional disturbances of being in love, so presumably it is one of the poems that got her into trouble with her religious superiors. The title, “On a sensible reflection”, describes the end point of the poet’s emotional journey, but most of the poem describes the heartache and confusion leading up to the moment of illumination.

De Una Reflexion Cuerda

Sor Juana Ines de la Cruz

Con el dolor de la mortal herida,
de un agravio de amor me lamentaba,
y por ver si la muerte se llegaba
procuraba que fuese más crecida.

Toda en el mal el alma divertida,
pena por pena su dolor sumaba,
y en cada circunstancia ponderaba
que sobraban mil muertes a una vida.

Y cuando, al golpe de uno y otro tiro
rendido el corazón, daba penoso
señas de dar el último suspiro,

no sé con qué destino prodigioso
volví a mi acuerdo y dije: ¿qué me admiro?
¿Quién en amor ha sido más dichoso?

From <;

So the poem kicks off with the poet feeling mortally wounded by some lover’s tiff and wants nothing more than death to ease the pain. Her soul is overwhelmed with pain and suffering, such that she feels like her one life is nothing more than a thousand deaths. Her last breath must be coming soon, and her heart is giving out (such are the joys of being in love for a Baroque poet).

And then in the final three lines she comes to her senses, through some prodigious act of destiny and realises that nobody is as lucky in love as she. This is the sensible reflection of the title.

The Poetry Dude


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s