I’ve compiled this woefully incomplete list of medieval women’s poetry in translation partly as self-promotion and partly in order to share resources. Additions are welcome. Happy #WITMonth, everyone!
Classical Arabic, 4000 BCE – 1492 CE
- Abdullah al-Udhari, tr. & ed. Classical Poems by Arab Women. Saqui Books, 1999.
Hebrew, 10th – mid-15th centuries
- Shirley Kaufman, Galit Hasan-Rokem, & Tamar S. Hess, ed. The Defiant Muse: Hebrew Feminist Poems from Antiquity to the Present. New York: The Feminist Press at the City University of New York, 1999. [See the wife of Dunash Ben Labrat, of late 10th-century Andalusia, and Merecina of Gerona, of mid-15th-century Catalonia, on pages 62-65.]
Latin, 1st–16th centuries
- Larissa Bonfante, tr. The Plays of Hrotsvitha of Gandersheim. Robert Chipock. Mundelein: Bolchazy-Carducci, 2013.
- Barbara Newman, tr. & ed. Hildegard of Bingen: Symphonia. 2nd Ithaca: Yale University Press, 1998.
- Jane Stevenson, tr. & ed. Women Latin Poets: Language, Gender, and Authority, from Antiquity to the Eighteenth Century. Oxford University Press, 2005.
- Katharina Wilson, tr. Hrotsvit of Gandersheim: A Florilegium of her Works. D. S. Brewer, 1998.
Classical Chinese, 9th–16th centuries
- Kang-I Sun Chang & Haun Saussy, tr. & ed. Women Writers of Traditional China: An Anthology of Poetry and Criticism. Stanford University Press, 2018.
- Kenneth Rexroth & Ling Chung, tr. Li Ch’ing-chao: Complete Poems. New Directions, 1979.
Early Middle Japanese, 8th–12th centuries
- Tony Barnstone & Chou Ping, tr. “Xue Tao (768–831).” The Drunken Boat.
- Jane Hirshfield & Mariko Aratani, tr. The Ink Dark Moon: Love Poems by Ono no Komachi and Izumi Shikibu, Women of the Ancient Court of Japan. Knopf Doubleday, 2015.
- Kenneth Rexroth & Ikuko Atsumi, tr. Women Poets of Japan. New Directions, 1977.
- Hiroaki Sato, tr. String of Beads: Complete Poems of Princess Shikishi. University of Hawaii Press, 1993.
- Philip Tudor Harries, tr. The Poetic Memoirs of Lady Daibu. Stanford University Press, 1980.
- David Young & Jian I. Lin, tr. The Clouds Float North: The Complete Poems of Yu Xian Ji. Wesleyan University Press, 1998.
Kannada, 12th century
- Vinaya Chaitanya, tr. Songs for Siva: Vacanas of Akka Mahadevi. HarperCollins India.
Old Norse, 9th–13th centuries
- Straubhaar, Sandra Ballif. Old Norse Women’s Poetry: The Voices of Female Skalds. Suffolk: D.S. Brewer, 2011.
Old Occitan (Provençal), 12th & 13th centuries
- Meg Bogin, ed. & tr. The Women Troubadours. Scarborough: Paddington Press, 1976.
- Matilda Bruckner, Laurie Shepard, & Sarah White, ed. & tr. Songs of the Women Troubadours. New York: Garland, 2000.
- Samantha Pious, tr. “Bieiris de Romans: Among the Trobairitz.” ed. Meg Bogin. Lunch Ticket (2015).
Italian, 13th century
- Samantha Pious, tr. “La Compiuta Donzella: Three Sonnets.” ed. Gianfranco Contini. Doublespeak Magaine (Fall 2016). [Scroll down for the Table of Contents.]
- Samantha Pious, tr. “A Sonnet by La Nina Siciliana.” [Seeking a home!]
Old French, 12th & 13th centuries
- Judy Shoaf, tr. The Lais of Marie de France: A Verse Translation. 1991–1996.
- Eglal Doss-Quinby, Joan Tasker Grimbert, Wendy Pfeffer, & Elizabeth Aubrey, ed. & tr. Songs of the Women Trouvères. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2001.
Dutch, 13th century
Middle French, 14th & 15th centuries
- Renate Blumenfeld-Kosinski & Kevin Brownlee, tr. The Selected Writings of Christine de Pizan. New York: Norton, 1997.
- Charity Cannon Willard, ed. The Writings of Christine de Pizan. New York: Persea Books, 1993.
- Maryann Corbett, tr. “Christine de Pizan, Ballades 11 & 53, from Cent Ballades.” String Poet (Winter 2011).
- Maryann Corbett, tr. “Christine de Pizan, Ballade 37, from Other Ballades.” Able Muse (Summer 2011).
- [Ask me about my translation of the Cent Ballades d’Amant et de Dame of Christine de Pizan!]
Catalan, 14th century
- Kathleen McNerney, tr. “La Reyna de Mallorques.” Catalan Review 5.2 (1991): 163-167.
- [My new translation of Lady Tecla’s verse exchange with Ausiàs March is now seeking a home!]
Kashmiri, 14th century
- Coleman Barks, tr. Naked Song. Maypop Books, 1992.
- Ranjit Hoskote, tr. I, Lalla: The Poems of Lal Ded. Penguin Classics, 2013.
Middle Welsh, 15th & 16th centuries
- Katie Gramich, tr. & ed. The Works of Gwerful Mechain. Broadview, 2018.
- A. M. Juster, tr. “Gwerful Mechain, To Her Husband for Beating Her.” Rattle 55 (Spring 2017).
Old Spanish, 15th century
- Samantha Pious, tr. “Two Poems by Florencia Pinar in Translation.” The Berkeley Poetry Review 46. 2016. [Click the first link to read the whole issue online, or the second to purchase a copy in print.]
Middle High German, 11th–16th centuries
- Albrecht Classen, tr. Late-Medieval German Women’s Poetry: Secular and Religious Songs. Suffolk: D. S. Brewer, 2004.
- James Rushing, tr. Ava’s New Testament Narratives: When the Old Law Passed Away. Kalamazoo, 2003.