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"You who want ..."

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You who want
knowledge,
seek the Oneness
within.

There you
will find
the clear mirror
already waiting.

Hadewijch II, “You who want ...,” translated by Jane Hirshfield, from Women in Praise of the Sacred (New York: HarperCollins, 1994). Reprinted with the permission of the translator.
Source: Women in Praise of the Sacred (HarperCollins Publishers Inc, 1994)
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"You who want ..."

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  • Little is known about the life of Middle Dutch visionary and poet Hadewijch, except what can be gleaned from her 13th century writings. Many scholars believe she lived in Antwerp, and her fluency in Dutch, Latin, and French can be taken as evidence that she received an education typically limited to the wealthy. She joined a group of beguines, evangelical women who, outside the monastic system, took vows of poverty, chastity, and service while remaining in the world.

    Her texts, which include religious poetry, accounts of visions, and religious letters, were written in the vernacular. Hadewijch used elements of the poetic tradition of troubadour poetry, which celebrated romantic love, to construct her ecstatic renderings of yearning for the beloved. Hadewijch has been the subject of much recent study in the fields of feminist theology and historiography. Her work was first translated into English in 1980 when Hadewijch: The Complete Works...

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