The Poems of St. John of the Cross

The Poems of St. John of the Cross

by St. John of the Cross
     
 

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San Juan de la Cruz, the great sixteenth-century Spanish mystic, is regarded by many as Spain's finest poet. Passionate, ecstatic, and spiritual, his poems are a blend of exquisite lyricism and profound mystical thought. In The Poems of St. John of the Cross John Frederick Nims presents his superlative translation of the complete poems, re-creating the

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Overview

San Juan de la Cruz, the great sixteenth-century Spanish mystic, is regarded by many as Spain's finest poet. Passionate, ecstatic, and spiritual, his poems are a blend of exquisite lyricism and profound mystical thought. In The Poems of St. John of the Cross John Frederick Nims presents his superlative translation of the complete poems, re-creating the religious fervor of St. John's art.

This dual-language edition makes available the original Spanish from the Codex of Sanlúcon de Barrameda with facing English translations. The work concludes with two essays—a critique of the poetry and a short piece on the Spanish text that appears alongside the translation—as well as brief notes on the individual poems.

Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
St. John of the Cross, a 16th-century mystic, wrote a small body of poems, many of them while he was imprisoned for his involvement in St. Teresa of Avila's monastic reform movement. A friendly jailer gave him pen and paper, and with these he composed some of the most ecstatically spiritual poems of the Christian tradition. St. John's central theme is union, though he wrote from utter solitude. His expressions of spiritual union with God are surprisingly sexual; it's often difficult not to interpret them as secular love poems. There are many excellent translations available that endeavor to capture the intensity and passion of the original. Krabbenhoft's translations are flat and literal in comparison with those of Willis Barnstone (1968) and John Frederick Nims (1979). Nims, for example, translates the last line of "Canciones Dei" as "how delicately I'm caught afire with love!" while Krabbenhoft renders it "how soothingly do you woo me!" Spanish texts are included, and Ferris Cook's tender illustrations are based on 16th-century Spanish paintings.--Judy Clarence, California State Univ. Lib., Hayward

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780226401119
Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
Publication date:
07/17/1995
Series:
Midway Reprint Ser.
Edition description:
Third Edition
Pages:
160
Product dimensions:
5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x (d)

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