"St. John of the Cross lived a monastic and ascetic life, believing this was the best way to combat the evils of the world, the flesh, and the Devil, and to focus on God alone. The Ascent of Mount Carmel, which he began composing after his escape from prison, is the story of the loneliness and suffering of the soul before its reunion with God. Included in this volume is not only the relatively brief poem¿only eight stanzas long¿but the poet¿s own stanza-by-stanza, line-by-line, and verse-by-verse deconstruction as well. Divided into three books (and a grand total of 91 chapters), The Ascent of Mount Carmel also contains footnotes to verses of scripture referred to in the poem. Spanish mystic and poet ST. JOHN OF THE CROSS (1542¿1591) played a major role in the Catholic Reformation of the 16th century, and produced several renowned writings, including his Spiritual Canticle, The Dark Night of the Soul, and Sayings of Love and Peace."