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    painting of snow covered trees at sunset

    Poem: “To Hope”

    By Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz and Rhina P. Espaillat

    January 14, 2023

    To Hope

    Green spell that so beguiles humanity,
    unreasoning hope, gilded delirium,
    dream that the sleepless dream, unrescued from
    the fantasy of fortunes not to be;

    soul of the world, old age dressed handsomely,
    imaginary blossoming of some
    bare branch, the lucky man’s today—“to come
    tomorrow,” says the luckless man, “for me”:

    Let them who will follow and live for you,
    those who, green-spectacled, pursue in vain
    chimaeras they create and trust too much.

    Saner about my fate, I keep my two
    eyes in my two hands, and find it plain
    there’s nothing I can see but what I touch.

    Translation, Rhina P. Espaillat

    painting of snow covered trees at sunset

    Valentin Hodnik, Winter Landscape 

    A la esperanza

    Verde embeleso de la vida humana,
    loca esperanza, frenesí dorado,
    sueño de los despiertos intrincado,
    como de sueños, de tesoros vana;

    alma del mundo, senectud lozana,
    decrépito verdor imaginado,
    el hoy de los dichosos esperado
    y de los desdichados el mañana:

    sigan tu sombra en busca de tu día
    los que, con verdes vidrios por anteojos,
    todo lo ven pintado a su deseo:

    que yo, más cuerda en la fortuna mía,
    tengo en entrambas manos ambos ojos
    y solamente lo que toco veo.

    Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz (1648–1695)


    Contributed By Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz

    Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz (1648–1695) was a Hieronymite nun and renowned writer, philosopher, composer and poet of the Mexican Baroque.

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    Contributed By RhinaEspaillat Rhina P. Espaillat

    Rhina P. Espaillat, a bilingual poet, is winner of numerous prizes including the T. S. Eliot Prize, the Richard Wilbur Award, and (twice) the Howard Nemerov Sonnet award.

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