I COBBLED THEIR BOOTS
How could I love my fellow men who tortured me?
One night I was dragged into a room
And beaten near death with
striking me hundreds of times
in the face, scarring me
I cried out for God to help, until I fainted.
That night in a dream, in a dream more real than this world,
a strap from the Christ’s sandal
fell from my bleeding
and I looked at Him and He
was weeping, and
“I cobbled their boots;
What moves all things
Translation by: Daniel Ladinsky
From Poetry of St John of the Cross
The poem is from “Love Poems From God” and are translated by Daniel Ladinsky, well known for his poetic versions of Hafiz.
St John of the Cross is widely regarded as one of the great mystical poets who lived in Spain during the 16th Century. As a young Carmelite friar John met St Teresa of Avila and became profoundly moved by her radiant spirituality. In 1577 St John was kidnapped and imprisoned for his support of the reforms to the Carmelite movement. For several months he suffered appalling conditions and regular beatings, amounting to torture. However throughout this experience he came even closer to the divine and amidst the beatings and squalor experienced visions and ecstasy’s. This poem is based on one such vision during his imprisonment.
This poem is from “Love Poems From God” and are translated by Daniel Ladinsky, well known for his poetic versions of Hafiz.