Hunger's Brides
Page Updated: 04/05/2005

Sor Juana's writing

Sor Juana

The poetry

Called by Octavio Paz "the greatest versifier of the Spanish language," Sor Juana composed poetry in virtually all of the verse forms in use during her time. Hunger's Brides contains over forty of her poems in translation, many with their Spanish originals.

Although the work of several translators, including Alan Trueblood and Margaret Sayers Peden, appears in the novel, the translations of B. Limosneros are original to Hunger's Brides. A few of these are from works never before translated into English.

All of the works linked to on this page are Limosneros translations.

caracolSonnets

On the dying of a rose

On a too-flattering portrait painted of herself

On the world's persecution

caracol Villancicos

This was a Spanish form especially cherished by the poor in the New World. Usually simple carols, villancicos were commonly grouped in a cycle of lyrics to be sung on a religious holiday.

caracol On Saint Bernard

On the Church as a House of Bread

caracol On Saint Peter

When Pedro, as a man of the sea...

caracol On Saint Jerome

Guided by a silent clarion...

caracol On Saint Catherine of Alexandria

One of her last commissions, originally to be sung for Bishop Santa Cruz at the Cathedral in Puebla, was a cycle of poems on St. Catherine, martyred on the Catherine wheel. Patron saint of female scholars. Most of these appear in translation in book five of Hunger's Brides.

The triumphs of Egypt...

Pure waters of the Nile...

Rose of Alexandria...

To her breast, pale Cleopatra...

That ancient Tribunal...

The ancient Wonders of the World...

There was a girl...

O Providence most high...!

A Rose that is cut...

There is an excerpt from the novel, in which Sor Juana remininisces about the feast of Saint Catherine during her own girlhood in the mountains of Mexico.

caracol Other forms

On the cruelty of memory (fragment)

...And though among all princes...

on Divine Love

Ascendant Raptor -- speak...(fragment)

For an hour sad Thought...

In truth my sweetest love...

When, Divine Spirits...?

Allegorical Neptune (fragment)

caracol From plays in verse

From "Love is a Greater Labyrinth"

I love Theseus, and thus...

Beautiful Phaedra, whom I adore...

What is this, unjust Heaven...?

caracol From "The Sceptre of Saint Joseph"

... that Woman, who but through sin....

Beauteous Intelligence, my bride...

So long as rage endures...

caracol From "Martyr of the Sacrament"

On natural magic

Hermenegild in prison

caracol Excerpts from the prose

From "The Letter Worthy of Athena" (La carta atenagórica)

An entreaty before the Divine Tribunal for forgiveness of her sins

 

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