Wednesday Sep 20

Medina Pablo Medina is the author of eleven books of poetry, fiction, non-fiction, and translation, among them the poetry collection Points of Balance/Puntos de apoyo (2005) and the novel The Cigar Roller (2005).   In January 2008, Medina and fellow poet Mark Statman published a new English version of García Lorca’s Poet in New York, which John Ashbery called “the definitive version of Lorca’s masterpiece.”  Acclaimed as “lyrical and powerfully evocative” and “deserving a prominent spot in today’s literature of exile,” Medina’s work has appeared in various languages, among them Spanish, French, German, and Arabic, and in periodicals and magazines throughout the world.  Winner of numerous awards, among them grants from the Rockefeller Foundation, the NEA, the Lila-Wallace Reader’s Digest Fund, and others, Medina is currently professor in the Department of Writing, Literature and Publishing at Emerson College in Boston and is on faculty at the Warren Wilson College MFA Program for Writers.
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SorJuana Born November 12, 1651, in San Miguel Nepantla (south of Mexico City), Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz was a self-taught poet, playwright, scholar, and nun whose ideas and accomplishments were ahead of her time.
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The Change

began on a farm in Pennsylvania,
the mist coming off the river

over the lip of the land to the field
where it surrounded the barn and then

surrounded him. Still dawn, the oak's gnarled
branches barely visible above his head.

Out of the whitish soup a frittering hum
like a liquid machine, a large eye looking out,

a small eye looking in, sweet scent
of honeysuckle, cold needles on his lips

and arms. The old rooster crowed.
A creature moved through the grass.

It made the mist open to the light,
made the seer become the seen.

 

 

To Her Portrait
         after Sor Juana

 

This one you see is painted foolishness
making everything a show of art,

splashes of false syllogisms, colors
that fool the senses craftily:

This one, in whom flattery pretends
to push aside the ravages of years

and conquer time's rigors
and triumph over old age and oblivion,

is a vain artifice of care,
a fragile flower in wind,

a hopeless hiding place for fate,
a silly diligent mistake, a brok-

en urge, and, carefully observed,
is corpse, dust, shadow, nothing.

 

A Su Retrato

                by Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz

Este, que ves, engaño colorido,
que del arte ostentando los primores,
con falsos silogismos de colores
es cauteloso engaño del sentido:
éste, en quien, la lisonja ha pretendido
excusar de los años los horrores,
y venciendo del tiempo los rigores,
triunfar de la vejez y del olvido,
es un vano artificio del cuidado,
es una flor al viento delicada,
es un resguardo inútil para el hado:
es una necia diligencia errada,
es un afán caduco y, bien mirado,
es cadáver, es polvo, es sombra, es nada.