Short Poem Saturday – Red Rose – de la Cruz


Rosa que al prado, encarnada, 
te ostentas presuntüosa
de grana y carmín bañada:
campa lozana y gustosa;
pero no, que siendo hermosa
tambien serás desdichada.

Juana Inés de la Cruz
(1651 – 1695)

Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz is a woman whose life was made up of remarkable contrasts: the illegitimate daughter of landed gentry, a brilliant teenager forbidden to attend school, and finally as a nun who wrote many non-religious works. She is also hailed as an early feminist and agitant for women’s rights. Drawing (ink on mineral paper – paper made from rocks, not trees, in honor of Earth Day) by me, translation by William Weaver. Have a lovely Saturday!


  1. Love this! Follow my blog if you want to read Spanish poetry! I’ve just started uploading them but I have a huge passion for it. I would love if you would illustrate one of them one day.


    1. Dear Emily, Thank you so much! I am following your blog and I am intrigued to read the poems you create. I will be keeping an eye out for a good one for illustration as well. I’m so glad to have you here at Illustrated Poetry!


    1. It’s my pleasure! Although she died young, she was a prolific writer and the subject of much controversy in her short life – as I was saying to Claudia, pages and pages can’t do her life justice.


    1. Thank you, Claudia! That was my hope, to mix the old and new and show that the more things change, the more they stay the same (well, in some respects!).

      Sor de la Cruz led such an interesting life – she is one of those that pages and pages can’t do her justice, so I attempted to summarize as best I could and hopefully intrigue folks into learning more about her. She is considered one of the earliest of the Mexican literary greats.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes. I am planning to read more about her, so it is working! Just when you think the world is maybe too confusing and disturbing and always has been, you find someone like her to grab on to and renew your faith in what can be accomplished even with obstacles, and also that clear-sighted thinking holds its value.


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