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Biblical Allegory and Creole Chiasmus: The Marquesa Jústiz de Santa Ana’s Dispatches from Occupied Havana (1762)

Abstract

A re-interpretation of the hidden critique of monarchy in a poem pledging loyalty to the king.

Briggs, Ronald. “Biblical Allegory and Creole Chiasmus: The Marquesa Jústiz de Santa Ana’s Dispatches from Occupied Havana (1762).” Dieciocho 35.2 (Fall 2012): 231-54. Print.

This article analyzes a protest poem signed by “the ladies of Havana,” in 1762, which excoriated the colonial officials charged with the city’s defense and begged the king to come to the aid of the loyal citizens suffering under British rule. Attributed to the Marquesa Jústiz de Santa Ana (1733-1807), a leading citizen now recognized as one of Cuba’s first female poets, the poem presented a dense array of interlocking analogies from the Old Testament. This essay challenges the prevalent reading of these allusions as a display of intellectual credentials by showing how they work together to produce an indirect critique of monarchy.

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