Sor Juana Ines de la Cruz

(1651 - 1695 / San Miguel Nepantla / Mexico)

Arraignment Of The Men - Poem by Sor Juana Ines de la Cruz

Males perverse, schooled to condemn
Women by your witless laws,
Though forsooth you are prime cause
Of that which you blame in them:

If with unexampled care
You solicit their disdain,
Will your fair words ease their pain,
When you ruthless set the snare?

Their resistance you impugn,
Then maintain with gravity
That it was mere levity
Made you dare to importune.

What more elevating sight
Than of man with logic crass,
Who with hot breath fogs the glass,
Then laments it is not bright!

Scorn and favor, favor, scorn,
What you will, result the same,
Treat you ill, and earn your blame,
Love you well, be left forlorn.

Scant regard will she possess
Who with caution wends her way,—
Is held thankless for her “nay,”
And as wanton for her “yes.”

What must be the rare caprice
Of the quarry you engage:
If she flees, she wakes your rage,
If she yields, her charms surcease.

Who shall bear the heavier blame,
When remorse the twain enthralls,
She, who for the asking, falls,
He who, asking, brings to shame?

Whose the guilt, where to begin,
Though both yield to passion's sway,
She who weakly sins for pay,
He who, strong, yet pays for Sin?

Then why stare ye, if we prove
That the guilt lies at your gate?
Either love those you create,
Or create those you can love.

To solicitation truce,—
Then, sire, with some show of right
You may mock the hapless plight
Or the creatures of your use!

Comments about Arraignment Of The Men by Sor Juana Ines de la Cruz

  • (7/16/2017 11:48:00 AM)

    Extraordinary insight; great poem peeping into the discrimination against women, meted out by the male homosapiens for centuries, without rhyme or reason. Most relevant even today, about 350 years after it was written. (Report) Reply

    1 person liked.
    1 person did not like.
  • (7/16/2017 9:39:00 AM)

    Interesting insights; to create what you love or love what you create; applies to both sex. (Report) Reply

  • Robert Murray Smith (7/16/2017 12:50:00 AM)

    This poem written so long ago has a modern tone that tries to right wrongs inflicted on women. (Report) Reply

  • Bernard F. Asuncion (7/16/2017 12:35:00 AM)

    Superb composition..: : Thanks for posting.... (Report) Reply

  • Fabrizio Frosini (11/17/2015 3:13:00 AM)

    Males perverse, schooled to condemn
    Women by your witless laws,
    Though forsooth you are prime cause
    Of that which you blame in them:

    - ITALIAN:

    Maschi perversi, educati a condannare le
    Donne con le vostre ottuse leggi,
    Anche se, in verità, proprio le donne sono all'origine
    Di ciò che ai maschi viene rimproverato:
    (Report) Reply

  • (10/3/2015 8:59:00 AM)

    .........incredible poem and great rhyming scheme ★ (Report) Reply

  • Fabrizio Frosini (7/12/2015 9:13:00 AM)

    amazing.. as it was written in the second half of 1600..! (Report) Reply

Read all 7 comments »

Read this poem in other languages

This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.

I would like to translate this poem »

word flags

What do you think this poem is about?

Poem Submitted: Tuesday, March 30, 2010

[Report Error]