Poetry of Hadewijch
The Stanzaic Poems, written by Hadewijch of Antwerp in the 13th century, are a body of 45 lyrical poems in stanzas. They are daring God-talk in the guise of courtly love songs. Hadewijch uses the linguistic style of chivalry but her poems are by no means courtly poetry. She shifts the current meaning of chivalry by transferring its context to a field of meaning focused on God. Because of the view of Minne (=love) that is embodied in them, the Stanzaic Poems are an exponent of the age old tradition of women's songs - of which the Song of Songs is the best known example - and as such they are an expression of a particular manner of keeping company with God: they celebrate a relationship of mutuality between partners equivalent in love. An introductory essay highlights some of the striking points of lovers: the raging desire of 'orewoet': the gentility of humankind's origin. This essay is followed by a rendering of the Stanzaic Poems from Middle-Dutch into Modern English prose. With an introduction by Edward Schillebeeckx.
and lyrical meaning
A VIEW OF MYSTICISM AND SPIRITUALITY
played in a particular and personal key
al minne alien allen Alse altoes Ay minne Ay vale vale bekinnen beloved boven cracht Daer Daer minne Dat si Dats der minnen die minne Dien minne dixero non satis doen doet doghen dore edele eest Ende endure faith fierce ghebruken ghenoech gherne gheven ghewout give goet groet Hadewijch haer hare haren heart hebben heeft herte herten hevet high love Hine hoghe hogher minnen human ierst langhe language leven lief live love's lover mach maect Maer meer meneghen metaphor mijn minne met minnen moet mysticism niet nuwe nuwen ocht ontfaen pine raet recht redenne righteous love rike saen scone selven sijn sijt sine sinne soude Stanzaic Poems storme tijt troest trouwe trouwen utterly vale vale milies van minnen vele vore vremde vremden waer Want weet werc wert wesen Whoever wilt wonder words