juan ramon jimenesJuan Ramon Jimenez, that’s who. And the Sisters of the Holy Rosary aren’t too happy about it.

Called Los Libros de Amor, a new book collects 93 of the Nobel Prize winner’s poems, including 25 that were previously unpublished. And among those are erotic poems that scandalously recall Jimenez’s years being cared for by nuns of the order. The poems seem to imply very close care indeed — either in reality or in the author’s imagination — from Sister Amalia Murillo, Sister Filomena and Sister Pilar Ruberte in particular. In any case, the order has spoken out vehemently against the publication of lines such as these:

Sister! We stripped off our ardent bodies
In endless and senseless profusion …

Sister Pilar, are your eyes still so black?
And your mouth so fresh and red?
And your breasts…? How are they?

She would seek shelter in a corner, like a cat …
but her nails were sweeter than my kisses …

The erotic poems were apparently written between 1911 and 1912 and recall the years he called “the happiest of his life,” when, a decade before, he lived on doctor’s orders in the care of the nuns. In 1913 he sent the poems to his publisher. He later withdrew the poems from publication in deference to his wife and her conservative mother, with the result that this side of the author is only now appearing in public.

Las novicias del sanatorioLINKS
El Universal: Aparecen poemas eróticos de Juan Ramón Jiménez
Guardian: My sex in the convent – by Nobel poet
El Cultural: Los poemas eróticos de Juan Ramon Jiménez
At Amazon: Juan Ramon Jimenez