St. John of the Cross (San Juan de la Cruz): Alchemist of the Soul: His Life, His Poetry (Bilingual), His Prose

St. John of the Cross (San Juan de la Cruz): Alchemist of the Soul: His Life, His Poetry (Bilingual), His Prose

St. John of the Cross (San Juan de la Cruz): Alchemist of the Soul: His Life, His Poetry (Bilingual), His Prose

St. John of the Cross (San Juan de la Cruz): Alchemist of the Soul: His Life, His Poetry (Bilingual), His Prose

Excerpt

The cacophony of the machine has drowned the voice of the poet in most of the industrialized regions of the Western world. No longer is the poet seen as the seer who is the channel through which truth is expressed. Nor is poetry any longer regarded as a vehicle for anything other than, at best, individualistic sentiments or social criticism if not subhuman inclinations and tendencies. Gone is the role of poetry as the mover of souls toward their celestial origin with a cosmic dimension which reminds the soul itself of the aspects of its reality beyond the ordinarily human. Divorced from principal knowledge and the power of alchemical transmutation, poetry has become debased in the modem world as never before. This holds true especially in America despite the remarkable poetic possibilities of the English language and the fact that this language has been blessed by the appearance of a Shakespeare and has been witness to a poet of the quality of John Keats as recently as the last century.

This eclipse of the sapiental and mystical role of poetry in America has made most modem readers forget the significance of the poetry of a Dante, that supreme Western poet in whose work the reality of the Christian universe became depicted through unparalleled poetic genius into a literary masterpiece of perennial beauty and significance. Likewise, modem American readers remain unaware for the most part of the role of poetry in the Spanish language which alone among major European languages has preserved to this day something of the traditional role and significance of poetry . . .

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