St. John of the Cross was born Juan de Yepes in 1542, in a small village in Spain. In his youth he met the Carmelite nun Teresa of Avila, and joined her monastic reform movement. He dedicated the rest of his life to founding and administering monasteries and to works of charity. His writing, which began in prison when he was held captive by monks hostile to the reform movement, earned him the reputation as the greatest poet in the Christian mystical tradition, and led to his canonization. In poems of astonishing clarity he evokes a vision of a world filled with beauty, radiant with the love of God, ecstatic in its purity. St. John is revered by readers of spirituality, for his words-which compare with the Psalms of David and the works of the Sufi poet Rumi-resonate with inspiration and rich imagery. This edition offers a dual Spanish/English text, and is accompanied by black-and-white illustrations based on famous Spanish paintings of the Renaissance.