The Nightingale

together with Hymns from the Office of the Passion of the Lord

By Saint Bonaventure

Translated by Fr. Robert Nixon

The Nightingale

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  • ISBN: 9781725261754
  • Pages: 46
  • Publication Date: 2/5/2020
  • Retail Price: $6.00
Web Price: $4.80
BUY FROM AMAZON.COM
Web Price: $4.80

The Nightingale

together with Hymns from the Office of the Passion of the Lord

By Saint Bonaventure

Translated by Fr. Robert Nixon

paperback-logo

PAPERBACK

  • ISBN: 9781725261754
  • Pages: 46
  • Publication Date: 2/5/2020
  • Retail Price: $6.00
Web Price: $4.80
BUY FROM AMAZON.COM

About-

The Nightingale, attributed to the early Franciscan mystic and philosopher St. Bonaventure, is an extended and complex poetical composition telling the story of the dying day of this mysterious songbird. According to medieval legend, upon that fateful day the nightingale ascends the highest tree it can find, and from there pours forth a ceaseless torrent of passionate, ebullient song. In this transcendent singing, the motifs of love, pain, and bliss are mystically intertwined in an almost intoxicated ecstasy. The song climaxes in death itself, which thus becomes, paradoxically, the apotheosis and consummation of love and of life. The legend of the dying nightingale functions as a symbolic depiction of the life and death of Christ, as well as the progress of the individual soul towards its final deific eternity when it is dissolved into the realms of celestial light. The vivid, rhythmic language of the Latin original, with its haunting and striking beauty, is carefully emulated in this new adaptation of the work into English verse.

Endorsements & Reviews-

“The wonderful images of this poem express a spirituality of passionate yearning and speak to the human heart today no less profoundly than they did in the thirteenth century. It is certainly one of the masterpieces of late medieval mystical poetry, which, until now, has been virtually unknown except to specialists. How blessed we are to have Fr. Robert, whose command of medieval Latin and whose ability to translate these texts so freely has made this mystical work accessible to the contemporary reader. It is a gift to the church, to the literary world, and indeed to all who seek God.”

—John Herbert, OSB, Abbot/Director, Benedictine Community, Holy Trinity Abbey



“We are in the hands of a master here. Robert Nixon, a musician, a Latinist, and above all a praying, earnest monk, has mediated to us, with great sensitivity to rhythm, and to the transactions between Latin and English, the Bonaventuran Philomela, a conspiration of the song of a dying Nightingale, the passion of Jesus, and the journey of the soul to God. I applaud among other things Nixon’s exquisite evangelization of the English language.”

—Anna M. Silvas, University of New England, Australia

Contributors-

Saint Bonaventure
Fr. Robert Nixon

Bio(s)-

Robert Nixon is a Benedictine monk of the Abbey of the Most Holy Trinity, New Norcia, Western Australia, and a Catholic priest. His roles include director of the New Norcia Institute for Benedictine Studies, as well as dean and liturgy coordinator for the monastic community. He has contributed articles on medieval Latin poetry to the Revue bénédictine and the American Benedictine Review.

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