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 poems. She shifts the current meaning of chivalry by transferring its contents to a field of mean-
ing 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 Schillebeekx (click here)
Essay (1998) (click here)
Recensie (click here)