What is the via negativa?

R. S. Thomas knew.

VIA NEGATIVAWhy no! I never thought other than
That God is that great absence
In our lives, the empty silence
Within, the place where we go
Seeking, not in hope to
Arrive or find. He keeps the interstices
In our knowledge, the darkness
Between stars. His are the echoes
We follow, the footprints he has just
Left. We put our hands in
His side hoping to find
It warm. We look at people
And places as though he had looked
At them, too; but miss the reflection.

Found via Janus at the door. R. S. Thomas was the preeminent Welsh poet of the second half of the 20th century. He was an Anglican clergyman, an ardent Welsh nationalist and a conservationist. A discussion of the apophatic dimension of his work may be found here.

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