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The Poetics of Love

Meditations with John of the Cross


Mary E. Giles

The Poetics of Love is a meditative commentary on John of the Cross' celebrated poem, the «Spiritual Canticle.» The author responds to John's expression of the journey to God and unitive love by turning to everyday events to see them as context for an inner development which is truly mystical. Commenting strophe by strophe on the mystical process, she shows the potential for mystical consciousness in such experiences as falling in love, writing a poem, studying the stars and riding a horse. Desire, suffering, paradox, ecstasy, compassion, metaphor, virtue, solitude and joy are among the twenty-one subjects that mark the journey. The scholar will find in the meditations an example of reader response criticism while the student of mysticism may be encouraged to celebrate human relationships, nature, art and science as revelations of the divine.
Contents: The Poetics of Love is a meditative commentary on the «Spiritual Canticle» by the sixteenth century Spanish mystic and poet, John of the Cross. An example of reader response criticism, the commentaries show the mystical journey in such everyday events as writing a poem and falling in love.