Monday, October 8, 2012

Angelus Silesius

Angelus Silesius (1624-1677) is a German poet and mystic. He was raised Lutheran, but converted to Catholicism where his mysticism would be more acceptable. Today, he is best know for his poetry. His two best known poetic works, The Soul's Holy Desires and The Cherubinic Pilgrim, were both published in 1657 when he obtained permission from Catholic authorities.

The Cherubinic Pilgrim is a series of 1600 epigrams, written as alexandrine couplets. The following are my own updated versions of some Angelus Silesius poems from this series, based on the English translations of J.E. Crawford Flitch.

More Known Less Understood

The more you know God, the more you will confess
That what He truly is, you know now less and less.

Through You God Loses Nothing

Choose, Man, which of the two you want,
Your self-destruction or your peace.
Through you God suffers no loss,
Nor does He find increase.

What Is Spoken Of God Is More False Than True

Since you do measure God by creature qualities,
There’s more of lie than truth in your theologies.

God Is Known In Creation

The hidden God becomes known
And familiar to mankind
In the created world of things
Which He has fashioned and designed.

God Didn't Die For The First Time On The Cross

The cross wasn't the first time He let Himself be slain,
For, see, he lies dead there at the feet of Cain.

Entry written by D.S. Martin. He is the award-winning author of the poetry collections Poiema (Wipf & Stock) and So The Moon Would Not Be Swallowed (Rubicon Press). They are both available at: