Dark Night of the Soul: Songs of Yearning for God

Dark Night of the Soul: Songs of Yearning for God

by Saint John of the Cross, John of the Cross
     
 

The first English translation of the classic sixteenth-century Spanish love poem of the soul and its commentary by a spiritual seeker outside of the Church.

When prayers go dry on the tongue, and any sense of God in the world is lost, it seems the spiritual seeker has nowhere to turn. This is the dark night of the soul that the great sixteenth-century saint John

Overview

The first English translation of the classic sixteenth-century Spanish love poem of the soul and its commentary by a spiritual seeker outside of the Church.

When prayers go dry on the tongue, and any sense of God in the world is lost, it seems the spiritual seeker has nowhere to turn. This is the dark night of the soul that the great sixteenth-century saint John of the Cross experienced when he could no longer feel God's presence and when prayer and spiritual practice no longer inspired him. The poem he wrote while in prison, on a scroll smuggled to him by one of his guards, has never been translated complete with his later commentary by anyone outside the Catholic church. Mirabai Starr brings this work to the twenty-first century in a brilliant and beautiful rendering.

Editorial Reviews

What a beautiful translation!
Natalie Goldberg
What a beautiful translation!
Publishers Weekly
Along with Teresa of Avila, John of the Cross remains one of the West's most well-known and beloved mystics. And like Teresa's, his writings are masterpieces of ecstatic poetry, depicting a lover the soul that seeks union with the Beloved, God. Starr, who teaches philosophy and religious studies at the University of New Mexico, offers an engaging and evocative new translation of John's most famous treatise, "Dark Night of the Soul." Composed as a result of his imprisonment, it follows the soul's journey from a state of abandonment and darkness to its profound ecstasy in finding God waiting to receive it. In order for the soul to achieve this rapturous union, John instructs, it must give up its complacent practice of prayer or other spiritual routines that separate it from a full union with God. John's now-classic spiritual commentary urges us to find rest in the emptiness of the dark night and to abandon ourselves to the love that is present at the center of this emptiness. Although John wrote "Dark Night of the Soul" for his Christian brothers and sisters, his rapturous mysticism provides a way to union with the divine for a wide variety of spiritual seekers. As Starr points out in her introduction, John's abandonment of self in order to achieve union with the Other mirrors contemporary spiritual practices of Buddhism and Hinduism. Starr's lyrical translation and her thoughtful introduction bring new life to John's powerful treatise on the life of the soul. (Feb. 18) Forecast: Although E. Allison Peers's monumental translation of "Dark Night of the Soul" remains definitive, it is wooden and literal, and emphasizes John's place in Christian theology and spirituality. Starr's lively translation transcends the narrowness of Peers's to reach a wide audience of contemporary spiritual seekers. Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781573222051
Publisher:
Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
02/14/2002
Pages:
150
Product dimensions:
5.30(w) x 7.90(h) x 0.83(d)

Meet the Author

Mirabai Starr,, who has studied Buddhism, Hinduism, and Judaism, brings the seeker's sensibility to Dark Night of the Soul. She is a published writer of fiction and essays and is adjunct professor of philosophy, religious studies, and Spanish at the University of New Mexico at Taos. She has been studying St. John of the Cross's text for more than twenty years.

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >