A Spiritual Canticle of the Soul and the Bridegroom Christ

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Cosimo, Inc., May 1, 2007 - Mystical union - 348 pages
"A Spiritual Canticle of the Soul is St. John of the Cross s most famous work. Composed mainly while he was imprisoned for refusing to follow his superior s orders, the poem reflects the suffering and punishments he endured at that time, sufferings that would influence all of his subsequent work. In A Spiritual Canticle of the Soul, the poet uses the metaphor of a bride and groom separated and then reunited to represent the soul and Jesus Christ. This richness of imagery has led some to declare this work to be one of the finest ever written in Spanish. Includes the complete poem, followed by a detailed explanation of each line and phrase. Spanish mystic and poet ST. JOHN OF THE CROSS (1542 1591) played a major role in the Catholic Reformation of the 16th century, and produced several renowned writings, including his Spiritual Canticle, The Dark Night of the Soul, and Sayings of Love and Peace."
 

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Contents

Song of the Soul and the Bridegroom
5
Argument
13
STANZA II
32
STANZA III
38
STANZA IV
46
Note
52
The Creature excites love for the Creator
53
STANZA VIII
62
The trees of Paradise and of Calvary The Cross
178
Note
190
STANZA XXVI
200
Note
211
Note
217
STANZA XXIX
225
First flowers of spring sweetest The delight of the bridesoul
231
Note
238

Note
70
STANZA XI
76
Note
86
Note
94
Note
104
Calm morning twilight Universal hymn of praise to
121
Note
128
Note
136
Note
144
STANZA XIX
151
STANZA XXI
157
The reign of everlasting peace
167
Note
177
Note
244
Note
250
Note
257
Note
266
Note
275
To know God is eternal life Truth as it is in Jesus New wine
276
Note
282
Note
291
Going up by the desert of death Encampment by the waters
299
Index to passages from Holy Scripture 3
309
General Index
315
Copyright

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About the author (2007)

St. John of the Cross represents the pinnacle of Spanish mysticism. In contrast to St. Teresa's works, which refer frequently to things of this world, St. John's poetry works on a purely spiritual, abstract plane. His poems consist of allegorical descriptions of the journey of his spirit through mortification of earthly appetites, illumination, and purification of the soul to union with God. In his prose commentaries on his own poems he laments the insufficiency of language to communicate his mystical experiences and his interior life. A disciple of St. Teresa, he became the spiritual director of her convent at Avila in 1572 and was responsible for carrying out many of her rigorous new programs for the Carmelite Order. Objections to his extreme reforms led to a period of imprisonment and torture in Toledo. During this time, according to tradition, he wrote Spiritual Canticle. His concentrated symbolic poetry has been studied with enthusiasm by such modern poets as T. S. Eliot, Paul Valery, and Jorge Guillen.

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