ENHEDUANNA – THE FIRST NAMED POET. 2285-2250 BCE SUMER

I like Enheduanna’s poetry, her passion, emotion, lyricism, honesty. Innana is my favourite god and Enheduanna often writes about and to her, even though she is High Priest to Nanna  the moon god, at the Temple in Ur.  Translated by Samuel Kramer and re-writen by Diane Wolkstien and separately translated and re-written by Betty De Shong Meador, the poems and temple hymns are moving and stimulating  as well as giving a glimpse of life in Sumer.  Enheduanna’s father King Sargon was an Acadian, a Semite, and his reign marked the end of the Sumerian civilization.  Her writings were copied over and over and lived on  into the Mesopotamian civilisations.  Sumerian literature was highly regarded long after the great Sumerian civilization ceased to exist.

The poem Nin-me-sara nowadays translated as The Exaltation of Innana, though I much prefer the translation – Lady of the Largest Heart – is an entreaty to Inanna to restore Enheduanna to her position of High Priestess.  Here is Janette Yacoub reading extracts of the poem in Sumerian.

Recital in Sumerian of extracts from Enheduanna’s poem NIN-ME-ŠÁR-RA read by Janette Yacoub. Recording supplied courtesy of the Enheduanna Society

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