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1 Hawthorne Religion Comparative- General

This title in other editions

Women in Praise of the Sacred

by

Women in Praise of the Sacred Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Enheduanna(ca. 2300.B.C.E.)"

Enheduanna is the earliest identified author of either sex in world literature. Daughter of the Sumerian king Sargon (whose domain lay in what is now southern Iraq), she was a high priestess in the service of the moon-god and moon-goddess, Nanna and Inanna. A number of Enheduanna's hymns have survived on cuneiform-inscribed table is, and her portrait was found on a limestone disc during excavations of the city of Ur.

The Nin-me-sar-ra, excerpted here, tells the story of a time of political unrest when Enheduanna was cast into exile. Although the priestess appealed first to the god Nanna for help, it was his daughter Inanna who ultimately restored her to her fightful position; while other material about Inanna (see pages 8-10) depicts a goddess of eros and fertility, this hymn praises the moon-goddess primarily for the fierceness that accompanies her power and beauty. The hymn is believed to describe a shift in Inanna's rank to a higher position within the Sumerian pantheon, as well as a shift in power relations between human rulers. It is also the sole representation in this book of the fierce female energy found in spiritual traditions throughout the world. In figures ranging from the Hindu destroyer-goddess Kali to the Hawaiian Pele, we see how this destructive goddess-energy creates a necessary balance--for if the entrance to life is through the maternal feminine, the gates of death (dependent on prior earthly existence) must also he an aspect of engendering female power. There can be no genuine beauty or harmony that does not acknowledge the opposite powers of anger, fierceness, and destruction, the plot of this hymn tells us: a true spiritualityincludes all of life's aspects, not only those we find pleasing or simple.""from"The Hymn to Inanna

Lady of all powers,
In whom light appears,
Radiant one
Beloved of Heaven and Earth,
Tiara-crowned
Priestess of the Highest God,
My Lady, you are the guardian
Of all greatness.
Your hand holds the seven powers:
You lift the powers of being,
You have hung them over your fingers,
You have gathered the many powers,
You have clasped them now
Like necklaces onto your breast.

Like a dragon,
You poisoned the land--
When you roared at the earth
In your thunder,
Nothing green could live.
A flood fell from the mountain:
You, Inanna,
Foremost in Heaven and Earth.
Lady riding a beast,
You rained fire on the heads of men.
Taking your power from the Highest,
Following the commands of the Highest,
Lady of all the great rites,
Who can understand all that is yours?

In the forefront
Of the battle,
All is struck down by you--
O winged Lady,
Like a bird
You scavenge the land.
Like a charging storm
You charge,
Like a roaring storm
You roar,
You thunder in thunder,
Snort in rampaging winds.
Your feet are continually restless.
Carrying your harp of sighs,
You breathe out the music of mourning.

It was in your service
That I first entered
The holy temple,
I, Enheduanna,
The highest priestess. Now I have been cast out
To the place of lepers.
Day comes,
And the brightness
Is hidden around me.
Shadows cover the light,
Drape it insandstorms.
My beautiful mouth knows only confusion.
Even my sex is dust.

What once was chanted of Nanna,
Let it now be yours-
That you are as lofty as Heaven,
Let it be known!
That you are as wide as the Earth,
Let it be known!
That you devastate the rebellious,
Let it be known!
That you roar at the land,
Let it be known!
That you rain your blows on their heads,
Let it be known!
That you feast on corpses like a dog,
Let it be known!
That your glance is lifting toward them,
Let it be known!
That your glance is like striking lightning,
Let it be known!
That you are victorious,
Let it be known!
That this is not said of Nanna,
It is said of you-
This is your greatness.
You alone are the High One.

0 my Lady,
Beloved of Heaven, Now that her priestess
Has returned to her place,
Inanna's heart is restored.
The day is auspicious,
The priestess is clothed
In beautiful robes,
In womanly beauty,
As if in the light of the rising moon.
The gods have appeared
In their rightful places,
The doorsill of Heaven cries "Hail!"
Praise to the destroyer endowed with power,
To my Lady enfolded in
beauty. Praise to Inanna.

Synopsis:

"Hirshfield's current collection brings together . . . an astonishing array of women writers from the 22nd century BC poet Enheduanna to Nelly Sachs and Anna Akhmatova."--Library Journal

Synopsis:

This beautiful collection of poems, prayers and songs is by women throughout history, from a wide variety of religious traditions. Biographies and insightful commentary by Hirshfield accompany the poems and illuminate their historical contexts and meanings.

Description:

Includes bibliographical references (p. 243-250) and index.

About the Author

Jane Hirshfield is the author of five previous books of poetry, a collection of essays, Nine Gates: Entering the Mind of Poetry, and three books collecting the work of women writers from the past. Her honors include fellowships from the Guggenheim and Rockefeller foundations, the Academy of American Poets, and the NEA, as well as the Poetry Center Book Award and California Book Award. Her last book, Given Sugar, Given Salt, was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle and winner of the Bay Area Book Reviewers Award.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780060925765
Editor:
Hirshfield, Jane
Publisher:
Harper Perennial
Editor:
Hirshfield, Jane
Author:
Hirshfield, Jane
Author:
by Jane Hirshfield
Location:
New York :
Subject:
American
Subject:
American - General
Subject:
Anthologies (multiple authors)
Subject:
Anthologies
Subject:
Poetry
Subject:
Inspirational & Religious
Subject:
Religious poetry
Subject:
Religious poetry -- Women authors -- Translations into English.
Subject:
General Poetry
Subject:
Poetry -- Women authors.
Subject:
Poetry-A to Z
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Trade PB
Series Volume:
RN-514
Publication Date:
19950131
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Illustrations:
Yes
Pages:
288
Dimensions:
9 x 6 x 0.72 in 10.8 oz

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Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Anthologies » Poetry
Fiction and Poetry » Poetry » A to Z
Fiction and Poetry » Poetry » Anthologies
Religion » Comparative Religion » General
Religion » Spirituality » Women's Spirituality

Women in Praise of the Sacred Used Trade Paper
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Product details 288 pages Harper Perennial - English 9780060925765 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , "Hirshfield's current collection brings together . . . an astonishing array of women writers from the 22nd century BC poet Enheduanna to Nelly Sachs and Anna Akhmatova."--Library Journal
"Synopsis" by , This beautiful collection of poems, prayers and songs is by women throughout history, from a wide variety of religious traditions. Biographies and insightful commentary by Hirshfield accompany the poems and illuminate their historical contexts and meanings.

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