Staretz, or "elder", is a title given to Orthodox monks of particular spiritual development. Staretz Silouan was a Russian peasant whose only formal education consisted of two winters at the village school. But on Mt Athos, rooted in a tradition reaching back to the very beginnings of Christian monasticism, he was taught of God and attained wisdom akin to that of the Desert Fathers.
Wisdom from Mount Athosis a collection of the notes which Staretz Silouan penciled on odd scraps of paper. Included is his prose-poem Adam's Lament, which echoes the haunting lyrical urgency of the Psalms. On the whole, Silouan's writing recalls the splendor of the great liturgical texts of the Orthodox Church.
A companion volume, The Monk of Mount Athos, gives an account of Silouan's life. This title is also available from SVS Press.