August 24, 2012

Religious and Poetic Life

Sor Juana left her first convent after a short time to join the Order of St. Jerome. There she spent the second half of her life and did most of her writing which included poetry, plays, and essays, both secular and nonsecular. One of her most famous pieces is her ‘Respuesta a Sor Filotea de la Cruz.’ The letter is a response to sister ‘Filotea’—a fictional nun created by a man who criticized Sor Juana’s work as immoral. Sor Juana’s response championed women’s right to learning and defended her secular works. Soon after, however, Sor Juana gave up secular writing and rededicated herself to religious life. She died in 1695 after having nursed her fellow sisters suffering from the plague.