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Silent Music: The Life, Work, and Thought of…

Silent Music: The Life, Work, and Thought of St. John of the Cross

by R. A. Herrera

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I appreciated finding this book in a nearby library. I have liked the poetry quite a bit of St. John of the Cross. And this book covers St. John's work and his life quite well for someone who is not Roman Catholic. St. John's commentaries on his own poems sometimes seem tendentious. I feel the power of his poetry and something deep in my soul resonates. Most of Herrer's book honors how someone can just be transported by the poetry and not perform shad fillet on proper moral behavior. The auhthor brings in prallels with other writers, such as Machado nd Dante, which is helpful. ( )
  vpfluke | Jun 7, 2015 |
Speaking of his own commentaries, St. John said that “the difference between poem and commentary is that between the living and the painted.” Readers are well-advised to keep this difference in mind as they approach Herrera’s work. For poetry, it is best to go straight to St. John, and, for painting that lives much the same time and place, to El Greco; but, for those who prefer to approach new territory with a guidebook, Herrera offers painting of a sort that might make the poet’s world less strange. This includes a brief introduction to mysticism, an equally brief description of the setting in which St. John wrote, and a short biography, followed by commentary and commentary on commentary. The straightforward reading of St. John’s major poems may prove useful to those encountering him for the first time, and the theological background will give readers who are not theologians some idea of the issues. Herrera includes a bibliography and notes that will direct interested readers to more extended treatments.
  stevenschroeder | Jul 31, 2006 |
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