Thursday, December 15, 2011

hortus conclusus



hortus conclusus [ˈhɔːtəs kənˈkluːsəs] n.

1.) An enclosed, inviolate garden; in spiritual and exegetical tradition, the symbol of the soul, the Church, or the virginity of Mary. In Art, a painting of the Madonna and Child in an enclosed garden. Frequently in transferred sense (Oxford English Dictionary Second Edition).

Etymology: Latin, = enclosed garden, in reference to Song of Solomon 4.12.

"The heart of man is hortus, it is a garden, a Paradise, where all that is wholesome, and all that is delightful grows, but it is hortus conclusus, a garden that we ourselves have walled in; it is fons, a fountain, where all knowledge springs, but fons signatus, a fountain that our corruption hath sealed up" (John Donne, "Sermons No. 13: Preached to the Earl of Carlisle, and his Company, at Sion, on Mark 16.16", ~1622).

(Virgin and Child with Saints and Donor, Gerard David, ~1507)
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Thanks to Bibi for bringing this one to my attention; I hadn't heard it before. I couldn't find a pronunciation, though. Can you record an mp3 and I'll post it for everyone? Thanks for reading!

9 comments:

Debra She Who Seeks said...

Is that anything like hortus hearsus a whosus?

Bibi said...

You want me to what? Talk? Online? For 290 people to hear? And my pronunciation has to be somewhat acceptable? *cold sweat* But if I'm going to say it, won't it sound too Dutch? Like, I speak with a RRRolling RRR, that's not very English :/

... Next time I'm going to suggest a word without any 'r's

(I like the painting though ^^ Thanks for doing this! And the mention! And making me feel uncomfortable!)

Bibi said...

ryc: Yeah I know, that's what I've been doing for years and years. But in English the r isn't even there. Anyhow, I'm sending you something. In English. Without the RRRolling RRR. Unless you insist on RRRs.

MRanthrope said...

"You had best sound off that you love the Virgin Mary!"

this post reminds me of Full Metal Jacket.

D4 said...

This one is fun. Now to put it to use...

Meri said...

I want one of these, instead of Cold December Rain. Blagggh.

HYDRIOTAPHIA said...

Have spent much time delighting in the wonders of my very own Hortus Conclusus, the one named Hortus Cyri. C'mon in, the garden's awesome !

PeaceLoveandSharpies said...

In my blogging absence, my vocabulary deteriorated a bit.
Curious....

Missed you. :)

Henry said...

I would only say this word if I were sipping champagne whilst touring the mansion of some upper-crust, blue-blood, hoity toity, high-falutin' dandy.

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