Those of you who have been reading this blog for a while now have surely realized my love for Sor Juana and translating her work. Recently I read a translation of hers at a virtual poetry reading, which I referenced in last week’s post. The reading was ‘30 Years/ 30 Poems’ which was put together to celebrate the birthday of Olivia Dolphin, Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Wizards in Space Magazine. My section of the reading starts at about 1:12:50, and the second poem, this translation, starts at about 1:15:30. The poem is as follows:
English (My Translation)
Of a rational reflection with what mitigates the pain of a passion.
With the agony of a mortal wound
I lamented from an injury of love.
And to see if Death Herself would come
I sought that it come faster.
Everything evil in which the soul delights
sorrow for sorrow she adds to her pain.
And in every circumstance she ponders
who is left over, a thousand deaths to one life.
And when, at the blow of one shot to the next,
exhausted, submissive, the heart gives pitiful signs
of breathing its final breath
I do not know with what monumental fate
I go back on my accord and say: Who do I admire?
Who in love had been more happy? More damned?
De una reflexión cuerda con que mitiga el dolor de una pasión.
Con el dolor de la mortal herida,
de un agravio de amor me lamentaba;
y por ver si la muerte se llegaba,
Procuraba que fuese más crecida.
Toda en el mal el alma divertida,
pena por pena su dolor sumaba,
Y en cada circunstancia ponderaba
Que sobraban mil muertes a una vida.
Y cuando, al golpe de uno y otro tiro,
rendido el corazón daba, penoso,
Señas de dar el último suspiro,
no sé con qué destino prodigioso
volví en mi acuerdo y dije: ¿Qué me admiro?
¿Quién en amor ha sido más dichoso?
Note: There was a scheduling error with regard to this post and it was inadvertently marked as private & thus went live later than planned. Many apologies!