In the end, if the wrong in me is that I a woman compose poems, since clearly man have done so and to great praise, what evil is there in my being a woman poet? (Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz)
Recently in my World Literature class, I was introduced to Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz. I thought I'd share a quote from her as well as a poem of hers, translated by Willis Barnstone.
"She Complains about Her Fate: She Asserts Her Aversion to Vices and Justifies Her Pleasure in the Muses"
Why persecute me, world? To what effect?
Tell me how I offend. My sole intent
is to fix beauty to my intellect,
not hang by intellect in beauty's tent.
I do not care for emeralds or for gold,
and so I feel a happier effect
by fixing emeralds to my intellect
than to affix my intellect to gold.
I do not care for beauty that the knife
of age cuts into booty for the public hall,
nor can perfidious wealth please me at all.
The best I find of all my verities
is to consume my vanities in life
and not consume my life in vanities.