November 26, 2014

Poem: Concerning the Divine Word

15th Century Painting by Meister de Marienlebens - Courtesy of Wikipedia

Concerning the Divine Word is a translation by Roy Campbell (1901-1957) of the Spanish poem: Del Verbo Divino, by St. John of the Cross (1542-1591). In 1936, while living in Toledo, Spain, Campbell was entrusted with manuscripts of St. John's writings for safe keeping by the monks of a Carmelite monastery during a period of anti-clerical riots.  Their fears were not unfounded, as the following day a number of the monks were executed and the library that had housed the manuscripts was set ablaze. Campbell attributed his family's safe escape from Spain to England to the intersession of St. John. On an interesting side note, Campbell was the inspiration for the character of Aragorn in the JRR Tolkien's The Lord of the RingsConcerning the Divine Word is included in the Poems for All Seasons Appendix of the Divine Office (1974).  The complete text can be found here.

Del Verbo Divino performed by Amancio Prada with English Subtitles

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