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The Poems of St. John of the Cross [Paperback]

By St John of the Cross (Author) & John Frederick Nims (Translator)
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Item description for The Poems of St. John of the Cross by St John of the Cross & John Frederick Nims...

Poetic imagery blends with religious zeal in a collection of poems by San Juan de la Cruz, the sixteenth century Spanish poet and mystic

Publishers Description
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 Sanlucon 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.

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Item Specifications...

Studio: University Of Chicago Press
Pages   151
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 0.5" Width: 5.75" Height: 8.75"
Weight:   0.45 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Oct 1, 1995
Publisher   University Of Chicago Press
ISBN  0226401103  
ISBN13  9780226401102  

Availability  2 units.
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More About St John of the Cross & John Frederick Nims

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Saint John of the Cross (1542-91) was a Spanish mystic and a Carmelite friar and priest. He is known for his reforming of the Carmelite Order and his writings, most famously THE DARK NIGHT OF THE SOUL.

St John of the Cross was born in 1542 and died in 1591.

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Product Categories

1Books > Special Features > Formats
2Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > Poetry > General
3Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > Poetry
4Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Authors, A-Z > ( J ) > Saint John of the Cross

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Reviews - What do customers think about The Poems of St. John of the Cross?

Wonderful poems  Mar 8, 2007
The poems of st John of the Cross are very moving and here they are both in the original Spanish and a fluent new translation - highly recommended!
A real let-down  Oct 22, 2003
The Poems of St. John of the Cross, translated by Ken Krabbenhoft, disappoints on two levels: the work itself and the translation.

More than half the work consists of paraphrases of or embellishments on the Scriptures: Cántico espiritual (Spiritual canticle)makes a hash of the Song of Solomon; En una noche oscura (On a dark night), also imitative of the Song of Solomon, is a bit more graceful but still falls short; Encima de las corrientes (By the rivers of Babylon) is a paraphrase of Psalm 137; En el principio moraba (In the beginning was the Word) is an enlargement upon the first verses of the Gospel of John, overlaid with a rather fanciful conversation between God the Father and God the Son, and a highly idealized interpretation of the Bride of Christ.

There are original poems but they are slight, abstracted and pedestrian. Not a single one has a well-turned phrase or mature insight.

It is difficult for me to say how much of the foregoing criticism should be attributed to the work of the translator, Ken Krabbenhoft. My Spanish is rudimentary and weak, but even I can tell that none of the musicality of the original comes through.

I cannot recommend this book to anyone wanting to deepen his relationship with God or to enlarge his understanding of spiritual matters. Even as a work of literature, the Bible is a far richer source than this slender volume. I'm returning it today.

The Divine Consummation  Dec 19, 2002
Nims' translation is nothing short of miraculous. I've read the poems in at least three different translations and Nim's were the only ones which made me cry like when I read the Spanish for the first time. There is something plaintive and erotic about John of the Cross that other tranlators edit out for propriety's sake, but Nims left it in as one should. John was a lover of the Song of Songs and his pursuit of God was the pursuit of one painfully in love and desirous of consummation. Nims brings that aspect to the fore. Gorgeous. But remember, the poems are not enough. One must still read John's commentaries.
Love Poems  May 22, 2001
John of the Cross is often associated only with the spiritual condition he called the dark night of the soul, experienced as a cold, dry, confusing place. But when you read his poem "On a Dark Night", you realize what wonderful intimacies are hidden for lovers under cover of darkness. For me, this poem, both in its original Spanish and its rich English translation, is itself worth the price of this attractive hardback book.

This is a book that celebrates the soul's love for her Divine Lover in images and language that transcend the limitations of physical gender. When the mystics subliminated, they truly made the energy of loving sublime!


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