In reading these poems the first difficulty (with some of them, at least) is understanding their meaning. Why are they hard to understand? Why do you think the poet or poets wrote in this way? Is this the work of a single poet, or more than one? What attitudes (e.g. toward self and others) do the poems have in common? These poems were written in colonial Spanish America. Can you guess roughly when they were composed?
After reading and thinking about the poems, look at pictures of the carved stone façade of the cathedral at Zacatecas in northern Mexico (a general view, and detail of the upper part). Can you find any shared qualities between the poems and the style and composition of the carving in the façade?