Juana Inés de la Cruz (1666). Artist unknown, signed J. Sánchez.
Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz (1651–1695) was a self-taught scholar, poet, dramatist, and nun, an outstanding writer of the Latin American colonial period and of the Hispanic Baroque.
The nun’s poetry, however densely Baroque, exhibits her characteristically tight logic. Her philosophical poems can carry the Baroque theme of the deceptiveness of appearances into a defense of empiricism that borders on Enlightenment reasoning. Sor Juana celebrated woman as the seat of reason and knowledge rather than passion. Her famous poem “Hombres necios” (“Foolish Men”) accuses men of the illogical behaviour that they criticize in women.