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Religious visions as outsider poetry

By Harriet Staff

The Poems and Poetics blog continues its “mini-anthology” of outsider poems with one of Hildegard of Bingen’s visions from her book “Scivias.” Bingen apparently had vivid religious visions until the age of fifteen. This one is of the devil, who appears to her as a big gross worm:

Now that worm was black and bristly, covered with ulcers and pustules, and it was divided into five regions from the head down through the belly to its feet, like stripes. One was green, one white, one red, one yellow and one black; and they were full of deadly poison. But its head had been so crushed that the left side of its jawbone was dislocated. Its eyes were bloody on the surface and burning within; its ears were round and bristly : its nose and mouth were those of a viper, its hands human, its feet a viper’s feet, and its tail short and horrible.


Posted in Poetry News on Monday, March 21st, 2011 by Harriet Staff.