Translation of Light / Ruhama Veltfort

About the Author
echapbook.com

POEMS
Opening
Sandscape
Shrapnel
Lost Child
Brooklyn, 1963
La Sirena
Zhikr
Susan, Number Four

Early Bird Sutra
Why the Boddhisattva Came
   to Battery Street: 7:55 AM

The Lightning-Struck Tower
The Well
Why Monks Are Fat
Retreat
Meada in Two Worlds

Looking at the Vault
   of Heaven

Translations from the Spanish:
Song of the Lovers
Dark Night: Climbing
   Mount Carmel

Flame

 

 

Flame

Translated from the Spanish: O Llama del amor viva, by St. John of the Cross.*
Click here to read original Spanish text in a separate window.
 

O, flame of living love!
That brands my heart so tenderly
In its deepest core —
Don’t be coy any more!
Finish me already, if you want —
Rip through the sticky web to this sweet meeting.

O, gentle, healing
Gift of a wound!
Your soft hand knocks and
Unfolds all eternity,
All debts paid off
In the extinction that swaps out death for life.

O, lamplighter!
Whose brilliant torch lights up
The deepest grottos of the senses
That were so dark and blind
Shining your outrageous beauty —
So hot! So bright! Joined with your beloved!

So quietly and lovingly
You settle in my breast
Where, in secret, you alone abide.
And with your delicious breath
Rich with goodness and glory,
How delicately you make love to me!

 

Click here to read original Spanish text in a separate window.

*St. John of the Cross (San Juan de la Cruz) was born June 24, 1542 at Fontiveras, Spain, a small village near Avila. He was a Carmelite friar, a mystic and a leading figure in the Catholic Reformation. Along with his friend and mentor, St. Teresa of Avila, he was one of the founders of the Discalced (Reformed) Carmelite order.  He died December 14, 1591.

   © Ruhama Veltfort, 2010  

Back to top