POETRY: Hadewijch Of Antwerp—Five Poems on Love

Hadewijch Of Antwerp (Five Poems)

Love’s Maturity

In the beginning Love satisfies us.
When Love first spoke to me of love—
How I laughed at her in return!
But then she made me like the hazel trees,
Which blossom early in the season of darkness,
And bear fruit slowly.

Knowing Love In Herself

I do not complain of suffering for Love,
It is right that I should always obey her,
For I can know her only as she is in herself,
Whether she commands in storm or in stillness.
This is a marvel beyond my understanding,
Which fills my whole heart
And makes me stray in a wild desert.

Love’s Constancy

Anyone who has waded
Through Love’s turbulent waters,
Now feeling hunger and now satiety,
Is untouched by the season
Of withering or blooming,
For in the deepest
And most dangerous waters,
On the highest peaks,
Love is always the same.

The Madness of Love

The madness of love
Is a blessed fate;
And if we understood this
We would seek no other:
It brings into unity
What was divided,
And this is the truth:
Bitterness it makes sweet,
It makes the stranger a neighbor,
And what was lowly it raises on high.

Love Has Subjugated Me

Love has subjugated me:
To me this is no surprise,
For she is strong and I am weak.
She makes me unfree of myself,
Continually against my will.
She does with me what she wishes;
Nothing of myself remains to me;
Formerly I was rich,
Now I am poor: everything is lost in love.

2 Comments on POETRY: Hadewijch Of Antwerp—Five Poems on Love

  1. Dear Julia, thanks for your postings. I have a question: do you happen to have references to these five Hadewijch-poems? Are these fragments from her songs, and if so (or not) where could I find the original texts? Are these your translations? Many thanks in advance! Hendrik


    • My best guess (because I’ve just returned a bunch of books to the library) is that they came from the book Women in Praise of the Sacred that includes poetry written by women over 43 centuries (you read that right). She is a difficult women to pin down; there are two Hadewijches. And writings about her are often included in books with other mystical women. Her poetry can be found online. Good luck. For library books, I would search your local seminary library.

      Liked by 1 person

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