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Poetry of St John of The Cross

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`I will be posting now and then the poetry of St John of The Cross in the thread on Private Vows HERE.  I thought that there might be interest in discussing his poems - not so much as poetry per se, rather the meaning contained in his poetry.  Although if members want to discuss as poetry per se - no problems.  How I came across the little book and other things is in the link in my opening sentence above.

I would be really happy indeed if discussion of his poetry took place in my thread on Private Vows; however, while there is an increasing (seemingly) access interest in the Private Vows thread, very few indeed actually post into it while posting would be entirely welcome to me, certainly discussion of whatever I might post.  I thought I just might get more discussion results here in Open Mic for St John's poetry.  Certainly in his own day, there was abundant discussion and much disagreement over meaning. Apparently this is why, after appeals to him, he explained in detail some of his poems anyway in some of his works.  Being a bit of a painter and poetry writer myself and interested in same by others, meaning is wherever meaning is found to me - no matter what that meaning might be.  There is the poet's or artist's meaning behind his or her works - and there is what the work or works might say to others.  Both to me are valid on different levels.



(I have tried but cannot get single spacing)

"With a Divine Meaning"


Upheld, and yet without support,

darkness around, no light of day

while I am wholly burned away.


My soul is free and set apart

from every created thing,

lifted above itself to sing

of richer life delights the heart.

God is the rock to which I cling-

Now I can tell it as I ought:

the source of all my greatest bliss

to feel, to know that my soul is upheld,

and yet without support.


I walk along a shadowed way

of suffering in this life of night

and yet although I see no light

my sorrow's not without allay:

I know the heavenly life burns bright.

The blinder love is, I can say,

the greater is the life that flow,

holding the soul in peace that grows,

darkness around, no light of day.


Since Love began to work in me

His touch transforms me, this I know.

I see my soul translucent grow,

for at His pleasure, equally

both good and bad are changed and glow.

Filled with delight to be Love's prey

I feel His flame consume, and see

nothing is left, for rapidly

the whole of me is burned away.

Edited by BarbaraTherese

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