Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Poets United Midweek Motif ~ Hildegard von Bingen

“Like billowing clouds, 
Like the incessant gurgle of the brook,
The longing of the spirit can never be stilled.” 

― Hildegard von Bingen

Midweek Motif ~ 

Hildegard von Bingen

From "8 Reasons Why Hildegard Matters Now" by  in the Huffington Post: 

 "Born in the Rhineland in present day Germany, Hildegard von Bingen (1098-1179) was a visionary [Benedictine] nun and polymath. She founded two monasteries, went on four preaching tours, composed an entire corpus of sacred music, and wrote nine books addressing both scientific and religious subjects, an unprecedented accomplishment for a 12th-century woman. Her prophecies earned her the title Sybil of the Rhine. An outspoken critic of political and ecclesiastical corruption, she courted controversy.
" . . . .  Reason #4:  "A cornerstone of Hildegard's spirituality was Viriditas, or greening power, her revelation of the animating life force manifest in the natural world that infuses all creation with moisture and vitality. To her, the divine was manifest in every leaf and blade of grass. . . . Hildegard celebrated the sacred in nature, something highly relevant for us in this age of climate change and the destruction of natural habitats."
"I, the fiery life of divine essence, am aflame beyond the beauty of the meadows, I gleam in the waters, and I burn in the sun, moon and stars ... I awaken everything to life." -- Hildegard von Bingen, Liber Divinorum (Book of Divine Works)

Your Challenge:  
Use any element and/or image from Hildegard von Bingen's music, writing and life as inspiration for a new poem.

Awakening The Heart By Hildegard of Bingen

Holy Spirit,
Giving life to all life,
Moving all creatures,
Root of all things,
Washing them clean,
Wiping out their mistakes,
Healing their wounds,
You are our true life,
Luminous, wonderful,
Awakening the heart from its ancient sleep.

(from Huffington Post, "Daily Meditations: Awakening the Heart") 

Hildegard von Bingen.jpg
Illumination from the Liber Scivias showing Hildegard 
receiving a vision and dictating to her scribe and secretary. 
From Wikipedia: Hildegard of Bingen.

"Universal Man" illumination from Hildegard's Liber Divinorum Operum
I.2. Lucca, MS 1942, early 13th century

   Additional Resources:                                                          

For those who are new here:  
  1. Post your Hildegard  poem on your site, and then link it here.
  2. If you use a picture include its link.  
  3. Share only original and new work written for this challenge. 
  4. Leave a comment here.
  5. Visit and comment on our poems.

~Next week's Midweek Motif will be Heritage Day (South Africa)~

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  1. When I saw the prompt last week I wondered where it would lead..this was such an interesting one to play with - thank you

  2. Yesterday seemed like a trial until I entered the sound of H von Bingen and found my poem. Oh she was a fighter and a truthsayer. I'm very happy to be here with Poets United today.

  3. I wrote something, Susan; it may not have been what you had in mind...but it is all that came to me.

    1. Glad you are here. Always go to the truth that pulls at your skirts, Mary, as it always serves you well. (I do wonder how her parents treated her before they gave her away.)

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  5. I enjoyed the opportunity to learn about this woman who had so few opportunities to express or share her creativity. Had she not been a nun would her music and poetry every been saved for us to enjoy???
    Thanks Susan.

    1. O, you are welcome. The true miracle is that some of her inspired work comes down to us. Her theology is surprisingly conservative, I think, though the chants are innovative and beautiful. Thank you for entering the spirit.

  6. Susan,
    I just linked mine to your prompt here. I hope it is something you'd find pleasant. I got my info from Wikipedia although a post above me discouraged it. I just went ahead and did it because I guess I'm a team player??? lol

    1. Hey James! I'm glad you are here, though there is no need ever to speak out of your comfort zone. Ever! Too much of that is going on everywhere.

    2. I interviewed an artist who had a vision in 1998 and he painted it. He called his prediction inspiration! Something the poet understands well.

    3. Wow, Leslie, thank you for the link! The art is fantastic and the video blew my mind. Though it was hard to see the actual planes again, the whole juxtaposition does feel like a vision.

  7. The vision was an attack on NYC and the Twin Towers that occurred 3 years later.

  8. When I first saw the prompt, I thought "What?" I attended Catholic Schools all my life but don't remember hearing of Hildegard. I did read a little about her several years ago, but had forgotten how amazing she was. I'm so glad you gave this prompt. I'm writing late because life has been weird lately, but your prompt gave me the opportunity to read again about Hildegard and I'm grateful.

  9. What amazing poems this week, Poets United! I look forward to tomorrow's Poetry Pantry for more of your best new and cherished old poems. Please visit Midweek Motif next week when the occasion of Heritage Day in South Africa leads to the question of Heritage to celebrate in your place and time!


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