Sister! We stripped off our ardent bodies
In endless and senseless profusion….
It was autumn and the sun – don’t you remember?
Added sweet sadness to the white splendour of our abode
Sister Pilar, are your eyes still so black?
And your mouth so fresh and red?
And your breasts…? How are they?
Oh, do you recall how you would come into my room late at night,
calling to me like a mother, telling me off like a child?
“When she fled, in a flight of deranged wimples,
from the impetuous will of my desire
she would seek shelter in a corner, like a cat …
but her nails were sweeter than my kisses.
Juan Ramón Jiménez
The verses would be no more than the erotic, if masterful, outpourings of a prodigious poet and Nobel laureate were it not for the fact that they appear to talk of his amatory adventures with a series of nuns. But now that a Spanish publishing company has decided it is time to publish the erotic musings of Juan Ramón Jiménez, an outraged order of nuns has asked for his poems to be silenced.
Jiménez, who won the Nobel prize for literature in 1956, two years before he died, is believed to have become involved with at least three nuns from the Sisters of the Holy Rosary congregation. The three worked at a nursing home run by the order in Madrid, where the young poet spent two years at the beginning of the last century. He later described the period between 1901 and 1903 when, on doctor’s orders, he was cared for by the nuns, as the “happiest of my life”.
Now a series of poems that he declined to publish during his own lifetime, in order not to shock his future wife, will help to explain why he was so happy. “These poems will be surprising for many people because they are lewd and erotic,” said the editor, José Antonio Expósito. “This is not the normal Juan Ramón.”
Read the full article My Sex in the Convent