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Poets of Divine LoveThe Rhetoric of Franciscan Spiritual Poetry$
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Alessandro Vettori

Print publication date: 2004

Print ISBN-13: 9780823223251

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: September 2011

DOI: 10.5422/fordham/9780823223251.001.0001

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Symphony of the Ineffable

Symphony of the Ineffable

(p.172) 7 Symphony of the Ineffable
Poets of Divine Love

Alessandro Vettori

Fordham University Press

The poet's closeness to God leads to reflections on the inadequacy of language to convey the effects love has produced on his soul. But the poems at the end of the Laude also consider the crucial choice of the via negative as a path leading to mystical vision. The linguistic medium cannot give a full, satisfactory report of an encounter with the “Unutterable,” but can, although obscurely, indicate its characteristics and its effects. Grounding his belief in his personal experience of mystical union, Jacopone embraces apophatic theology, which teaches that divinity outside the realm of any human discourse. Language poses itself as a garment, the indispensable garment covering reality and at the same time determining it. Its opposite is silence, which is directly related to nudity in the mythic account of Earthly Paradise. Language and garments distinguish them from other creatures and identify them as humans.

Keywords:   poems, mystical union, language, garments, Jacopone, apophatic theology, via negative

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