Hildegard’s Feast Day This is a Countdown Day 4
Four days until Hildegard’s feast day – 17th September
In this poem from my new book Hildegard of Bingen: A poetic journey
Hildegard is now a young woman. You may wonder how she, from a restricted beginning, could grow in learning and knowledge to became such a great influence on Western World music, medicine, ecology and environment.
The young man is the monk Volmar. He is one of the few literate monks and a Latin scholar. He is the scribe for the monastery. It is 1120.
Getting of Knowledge
Seasons fall one upon another.
Hildegard tends their courtyard,
a patchwork of green colour.
Pilgrims throng to Disibodenberg,
seek Jutta for blessing.
Jutta sits at her window
to the world.
Hildegard observes Jutta’s gifts
of healing and prophecy,
aware of the pilgrims, their fears,
their sense of longing.
After Divine Office
the monk Volmar taps the window,
gives them a vellum-bound manuscript.
He speaks softly,
This is my new work.
In dim afternoon light
Hildegard and Jutta sit together,
marvel at illustrated works
he has copied into German,
of the vegetation found sheltered
in woodlands and meadows,
herbs, ferns, moss and lichen
They pour over each page.
under Hildegard’s enquiring gaze.
They smell the hide, minerals,
ink’s oak oil, plant dye.
Hildegard’s hunger quickens.
Her hunger for the getting of knowledge.
PS The writing pictures are of mediaeval time but not Hildegard’s actual writing.