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The Catholic Culture Podcast

A weekly podcast hosted by musician and writer Thomas V. Mirus, exploring everything Catholic, with a special focus on arts and culture. Dedicated to the Holy Family. An extension of

Sep 5, 2023

St. John of the Cross is not only one of the Church’s greatest mystics, but also one of the most important figures in the Spanish poetic tradition. A new book of translations of St. John’s poems, brought into English by contemporary bilingual poet Rhina Espaillat, gives us a chance to discover or rediscover this singular spiritual and artistic master.

Carla Galdo joins the podcast to discuss Espaillat’s translations of St. John of the Cross. Comparing them with earlier translations by Roy Campbell (a friend of Tolkien and Lewis) provides opportunity to highlight various approaches and problems in translating poetry. Carla and Thomas also discuss common misconceptions about the dark night of the soul, and John’s use of the classic mystical symbolism of bride and bridegroom representing the relationship between the soul and God.


The Spring that Feeds the Torrent: Poems by St. John of the Cross, Translated by Rhina P. Espaillat

St. John of the Cross: Poems, trans. Roy Campbell

Musical setting of "El pastorcico"

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