Friday, February 28, 2014

Dutch Poem by Sister Bertken

View of a Foggy Waterway Framed by Delicate Tree Branches and Weeds by Klaus Nigge
View of a Foggy Waterway Framed by Delicate Tree Branches and Weeds

When I went into my garden, I found
only nettles and thorns.

The nettles and thorns I threw out.
I seeded some flowering plants.

I found someone who knew his work,
willing to help me in my task.

The tree was in such a hurry to climb,
I couldn't dig it out in time.

In my dilemma he had a remedy.
Alone he pulled up the tree.

Now I must ask advice from him
or he won't help me again.

However much I weed and clear,
the poison grass appear.
Carnation, Lily, Lily, Rose by John Singer Sargent
Carnation, Lily, Lily, Rose

I'd like to seed lilies on this site
before the day is bright.

If my lover feed it with dew,
it will richly bloom.

He loves among all flowers,
the lily in its white splendor.

Red Roses by Qishu Wu
Red Roses

Red Roses unfurl.
In their calices burns the pearl.

Then the pearl is dressed in sun.
The strong heart looks on.

The Sower by Garret Walker
The Sower

Jesus is the gardener's name.
I am his. One being, we are the same.

His love is sweetest breath,
beyond all things on earth.

Sister Bertken (1427 - 1514)
Little is known of this late medieval Dutch nun's life other than that she spent fifty-seven years of her life in a Utrecht convent. Her poems are allegorical with obvious biblical allusions, particularly from the Song of Songs.

images courtesy of all posters

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