H.D.: Wunden Eiland and “Litany of the Wounds”

 (9th in a series of posts on H.D.)

Finding H.D.: A Community Exploration of the Life and Work of Hilda Doolittle

The next event in this year-long series is “Challenging Limited Understandings of Gender and Sexuality” by Lehigh University’s Mary Foltz, TONIGHT Wednesday, March 6, 6:30-8 at the Bethlehem Area Public Library.

Wunden Eiland, where the ceremony in H.D.’s vision took place and the controversial and ultimately “sifted” “Litany of the Wounds” are two of the most intriguing elements of the H.D. story told by Prof Atwood.

Let’s linger on them for a moment. Gadfly loves this stuff.

Here is H.D.’s vision:

This, I could remember, letting pictures steadily and stealthily flow past and through me. When the terror was at its height, in the other room, I could let images and pictures flow through me, and I could understand Anna von Pahlen who had been the inspirer of the meetings at Wunden Eiland when the unbaptized King of the Shawanese gave his beloved and only wife to the Brotherhood. I saw it all clearly.  (The Gift, 134)

And there was an actual Wunden Eiland (Island of the Wound), in the Monocacy — gone now — but down behind Brethren’s House on Church St. in the 18th century.

You can see it on this 1766 map. Follow the Monocacy heading down the left side of the map toward the Lehigh River. See Wunden Eiland on the left just after the Monocacy turns right toward the bottom of the map. Tip o’ the hat to Scott Gordon for the reference.


Now here’s a taste of the graphic “Litany of the Wounds,” an example of the hidden, sifted liturgy at the original core of the Moravian Church that attracted H.D.  (For the whole thing, see at end of Craig Atwood, “Zinzendorf’s ‘Litany of the Wounds’.”)

wounds 1

wounds 2

wounds 3

Now on to Mary Foltz’s lecture. Tonight! Be there!

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