(Poem) lingua ignota by Donna Snyder



the rule–the
less common than a
indefinite more common than definite
a code here
lingua ignota
the litterae ignotae
here with no Hildegarde to translate
no sybilline instructor
her latinate Rheinish code
a DNA of visions
a hierarchy of angels and symbols

a more common than the
a secret alphabet of sisters
spies everywhere
a secret languge
another hierarchy still
but of words as symbol
the Benedctine rule of order
used to bend Vatican law
a Catholic near saint still subversive
nearer to being protestant than papish
soon to be declared a saint by the Holy See

a secret language of sisters
students and teachers
confessors and confidantes
spies everywhere
Hildegarde and her Jutta
tap into your FXP20
bend your mouth around the name of her Jutta
Judith her Yitty
a teacher who recognized the extraordinary student
Hildegard
emore rare than angels dancing
she who created words and letters

in the beginning was the Word
and the Word is God
words and letters used
signs communicated
musical notes used to create prayers
to preach perfectibility

she who gave voice to perpetuate silence
her hierarchical language hidden
hiding power and thought from the Church hierarchy
the truth of visions and remedies
effulgence unsuppressed
emanations of glory extend far beyond Rhinelandish valleys
beyond Latinate Rome
beyond continents and centuries
nothing in her mind not first in heaven’s nature
nature more common than ecstasy
a secret language of flowers
herbs and angels
the code here
a code here
a more common than the

Hildegard von Bingen
Hildegard von Bingen