Sin arrimo y con arrimo,

From the pen of San Juan de la Cruz, we have this glosa or gloss, which is a style of poem in which the poet takes two or three well-known lines of verse from another source and constructs a more elaborate poem around them. From the title we can infer that the source for this gloss was another of San Juan’s poems, but I do not know which one.

The theme, I think, is about religious faith being an essential support when all the circumstances of material lie are adverse. And this is summarised in the opening three lines (which are then repeated as the final lines of stanzas 2, 3 and 4). “Without support and with support, without light and living in darkness, I am being burned up”.

Life is hard, and lived in darkness, but the redeeming power of love and religious faith bring consolation and strength to the poet through his faith. And by writing this poem, he points the way to consolation for all. Here indeed is the compassionate side of religious faith. If only that were the most common aspect….

San Juan de la Cruz

Glosa de el mismo
Sin arrimo y con arrimo,
sin luz y ascuras viviendo
todo me voy consumiendo.

I

Mi alma está desassida
de toda cosa criada
y sobre sí levantada
y en una sabrosa vida
sólo en su Dios arrimada.

II

Por esso ya se dirá
la cosa que más estimo
que mi alma se vee ya
sin arrimo y con arrimo.

III

Y aunque tinieblas padezco
en esta vida mortal
no es tan crecido mi mal
porque si de luz carezco
tengo vida celestial
porque el amor da tal vida
quando más ciego va siendo
que tiene al alma rendida
sin luz y ascuras viviendo.

IV

Haze tal obra el amor
después que le conocí
que si ay bien o mal en mí
todo lo haze de un sabor
y al alma transforma en sí
y assí en su llama sabrosa
la qual en mí estoy sintiendo
apriessa sin quedar cosa,
todo me voy consumiendo.
From <http://www.poemas-del-alma.com/san-juan-de-la-cruz-glosa-de-el-mismo.htm&gt;

 

The Poetry Dude

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