Mystical poetry definition forms and types

Mystical poetry

The definition of Mystical poetry is one that expresses the spiritual union between the whole of humanity and God. It arises in the second half of the 16th century when, after the internal inconveniences in the Catholic Church due to the Protestant reform, the religious lyric was separated between the ascetic and mystical.

While ascetic poetry focuses its efforts on enabling the spirit to achieve moral and ethical perfection, mysticism tries to express the wonders that the privileged experience in their own soul as they enter into communion with God.

The word mystique has its origin in the Greek verb myein-enclose, which defines a complex and difficult practice to achieve, with the aim of achieving the union of the human soul with the sacred.

The Royal Spanish Academy, for its part, defines the mystical as: “Extraordinary state of religious perfection, which essentially consists of a certain ineffable union of the soul with God through love, and is accidentally accompanied by ecstasy and revelations.”

Thus mystical poetry is a form of expression of a life of secret spiritual perfection, far from the ordinary, closely linked with supernatural experiences.

In this sense, it is God who raises people (and poets) to a place above natural limitations, where they manage to gain knowledge of a superior experience of the senses.

Broadly speaking, mysticism crosses all religions, but it has a greater interference in monotheistic beliefs, such as Catholicism, Judaism and Islam, among others and not so much in the religions that practice polytheism.

In order to enter the mystical field, and achieve union with divinity, one must go through ways such as purgative, which consists of cleansing the soul through prayer; the illuminative and the unitive.

Forms of mystical poetry

Mysticism is considered infallible so the authors turn to mystical poetry to express themselves. In turn, this type of genre has different forms, although verse , simple and straightforward, is its most cultivated format.

Its contents deal with human love and the beautiful experiences that believers awaken and achieve after reaching communion with God. This experience does not depend on man but only on God. In this sense, the author is only a means of expression.

Types of Christian mystical poetry

It is complex to make a complete classification of the mystical poetry of Christianity, since being a transcendental experience of the human being, it can be expressed in a different way according to each writer.

Thus, only the mystical poetry that reflects the experiences of Christianity can be approached, leaving aside the expressions of other religions, to summarize its field of action in three great schools.

The first refers to Germanic mysticism, in which Hildegarda de Bingen stands out as the main reference. This current manifests a mystical monastic leader, prophetess and doctor.

De Bingen was one of the most fascinating personalities of his time and left behind an extensive and revered work. Another is the Italian mystic whose main exponent in Saint Francis of Assisi, which had a vast group of writers who prophesied on various subjects.

Finally, the most widespread, the Spanish mysticism, with Saint John of the Cross as the protagonist, which had a strong boom in the 16th century due to the existing tension with Protestantism.

With a marked eclectic character, it was one of the last mystical literary expressions to appear and it is considered the conclusion of the mystical tradition of Christianity in the West.

We hope you have grasped the definition of mystical poetry.

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