About our sources

Catharina Regina von Greiffenberg’s poetry is difficult to find in print, but readily available online. ScholarsArchive, hosted by Brigham Young University, contains a digital library of works by German-speaking women. This collection, called Sophie, contains the entire text of Greiffenberg’s Geistliche Sonnette, Lieder und Gedichte. This is the source we use when we provide a link to the original text at the end of each translated sonnet.

A digital copy of the original book is also available through the Universitäts- und Landesbibliothek Sachsen-Anhalt, Halle, Germany.

Wortblume, a site dedicated to poetry by German-speaking women from the 17th to early 20th centuries, contains 71 of Greiffenberg’s sonnets.

As for print editions, readers with access to a university library may be able to find the facsimile edition of Geistliche Sonnette published in 1967, with an afterword by Heinz-Otto Burger, or Greiffenberg’s collected works (Sämtliche Werke,1983). We use the print-on-demand edition available from Amazon, as this is the most readily available print edition. However, this edition has a few drawbacks: it lacks the subject index; it doesn’t preserve the formatting of the original (which makes the numbering of the poems in the book’s final section rather confusing); and it contains some transcription errors. Thus, we still make use of other sources for comparison and correction.

A few of Greiffenberg’s poems have been published in translation. These can be found most readily in anthologies of poetry by women: The Penguin Book of Women Poets, edited by Carol Cosman, Joan Keefe, and Kathleen Weaver (available from used book dealers); The Defiant Muse: German Feminist Poems from the Middle Ages to the Present, edited by Susan L. Cocalis; and Women in Praise of the Sacred: 43 Centuries of Spiritual Poetry by Women, edited by Jane Hirshfield.