The Tenth Muse in Chicago

“There have been two great accidents in my life. One was the train the other was Diego. Diego was by far the worst.”  ― Frida Kahlo

Although Frida Kahlo is known as a revolutionary artist by many and is often seen as a Mexican heroine to feminine liberation, there is a little know seventeenth century poet and philosopher who lived and challenged the views of her society long before Kahlo.

Sor Juana Inez de la Cruz, a 17th century nun, wrote about love and religion in a time when most women were not educated and the idea of feminism had yet to be conceived.

One of her more notorious poems, Phyllis, caused many to question her sexuality.

But, Phyllis, why go on?

For yourself alone I love you.
Considering your merits,
what more is there to say?

That you’re a woman far away
is no hindrance to my love:
for the soul, as you well know,
distance and sex don’t count.

How could I fail to love you,
once I found you divine?
Can a cause fail to bring results,
capacity go unfulfilled?

In Celebration of Sor Juana’s legacy the National Museum of Mexican Art in Chicago will be hosting the Sor Juana Festival from October 10-19th.

The Sor Juana Festival is a celebration of female artists born on either side of the Mexican border. It is believed that Sor Juana, a seventeenth century poet and philosopher, was the first feminist in the Americas.  As a part of the series several performing artists will showcase their work.

Do you have a favorite poet who you wished more people knew about? If so, please feel free to share their name in the comment section.


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