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.
Dimensions: 15cm x 22 cm. 48 pages, paperback.