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1. Hildegard to Mary

I behold you, noble, glorious and whole woman, the pupil of purity. You are the sacred matrix in which God takes great pleasure.

The essences of Heaven flooded into you, and the Great Word of God dressed itself in flesh. You appeared as a shining white lily, as God looked upon you before all of Creation. O lovely and tender one, how greatly has God delighted in you. For He has placed His passionate embrace within you, so that His Son might nurse at your breast. Your womb held joy, with all the celestial symphony sounding through you, Virgin, who bore the Son of God, when your purity became luminous in God. Your flesh held joy, like grass upon which dew falls, pouring its life-green into it, and so it is true in you also, o Mother of all delight. Now let all Ecclesia shine in joy and sound in symphony praising the most tender woman, Mary, the bequeather/seed-source of God. Amen

Ave Generosa by Hildegard of Bingen, 1366

2. Opening

Book of Divine Works, Part 3, Vision 3: The Fountain of God’s Work by Hildegard of Bingen, 1230

In Latin, pupa was either a girl or a doll. Its diminutive pupilla had two senses, from which we derived two different words spelled pupil in English. A person can see himself reflected in miniature, like a little doll, in the eye of another. For this reason, the opening in the iris which seems to hold this image was called a pupilla in Latin…A little girl who was an orphan and a ward was also called a pupilla, her masculine counterpart being a pupillus. […] The Latin word pupa is also used by modern entomologists to name the quiescent stage through which some insects pass in their metamorphosis from larvae to adults.

The Merriam-Webster New Book of Word Histories. Springfield, Mass: Merriam-Webster Inc, 1991.

3. Mary to Hildegard

little doll

in the eye





girl child



who loved you?

who saw?

500 years later monasteries were universities

and pupil changed also from orphan to student.

really dear Hilde, you were always precocious.

Hildegard lift me

the little me In you

ambitiously graceful

fetch popes and price cheese.

your life is god’s eye

but the mother's your gaze,

the mother

of the son

in the place

of the father

like you she can worship

and knows how to sing.

no faded blue Mary obediently flat

not one of these virgins will split up the crack

when bellies swell under and quake from the sound

a chancel of women breathe all the way down.

the miracle in icon is that it is you

when a flat iris opens to vision and sound

who saw you that way, saw you into a life?

pale, a bit lumpy emerging with wings


me in your sight





(seeing you)


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