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By St. John of the Cross | Translated by Roy Campbell

Preface by Martin Cyril D'Arcy, S.J. | Afterword by Conrad Pepler, O.P.

The poetry of St. John of the Cross has received almost innumerable accolades. In his Preface to this volume, M. C. D’Arcy quotes Marcelino Menéndez y Pelayo, the remarkable Spanish historian and critic, in praise of the poems of the Mystical Doctor: “So sublime is this poetry that it scarcely seems to belong to this world at all; it is hardly capable of being assessed by literary criteria.… The Spirit of God has passed through these poems every one, beautifying and sanctifying them on its way.” In this brilliant English translation, first published in 1952 and acclaimed by Roger Scruton as an emblem of “passionate Christian mysticism,” Roy Campbell masterfully presents in these twenty-two poems the same mystical freshness and intensity of the Dark Night of the Soul and the Spiritual Canticle.

These poems, in conjunction with the Preface by M. C. D’Arcy and the Afterword by Conrad Pepler, O.P., constitute an occasion to enter the inexhaustible mystery of the Divine.

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St. John of the Cross (1542–1591) was a Spanish Catholic priest and Carmelite friar. Recognized even to this day as one of Spain’s pre-eminent poets, he also played a crucial part in the Counter-Reformation, collaborating with his mentor Teresa of Ávila in reforming the Carmelite order in particular. In 1926, Pope Pius XI declared him a Doctor of the Church.

Roy Campbell (1901–1957) was a South African poet and translator of Scotch–Huguenot descent. Friend to such renowned figures as George Orwell, T. S. Eliot, and J. R. R. Tolkien, Campbell nevertheless fell afoul of the literary establishment during the Spanish Civil War, and his legacy has by and large fallen into neglect since his untimely death.

Paperback: 132pp.

ISBN: 978-1685950101