“What would happen if one woman told the truth about her life? / The world would split open.”
Poet Muriel Rukeyser

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Praise rejoicing

As a starved little bird, who sees and hears
his mother's wings fluttering round about him
to bring him food, whose heart is filled with love
both for her and the food, who then, rejoicing
- though in the nest he pines and is consumed
with eagerness to follow her and fly -
will thank her by his singing, far beyond
his usual power of song, with tongues set free,
So, I whenever the warm rays
of the divine Sun, nourishing my heart,
will shine on me with unaccustomed brightness,
take up my pen, impelled by inner love;
without quite knowing what it is I say,
as best I can, I write God's praises down.

By Vittoria Colonna (1492-1547) translated by Laura Anna Stortoni and Mary Prentice Lillie, in Women in Praise of the Sacred, edited by Jane Hirshfield: HarperPerennial 1994