Prologues at the beginning of The Orcherd of Syon, which reimagine Catherine of Siena's Dialogo as a garden through which readers stroll, promote a material understanding of reading rooted in a complex notion of what occurred when devout readers encountered contemplative texts. These horticultural metaphors merit careful attention because they align Birgittine meditative reading with broader approaches among female religious toward food practice, the material world, and imitatio. Drawing these discourses together, The Orcherd, this article argues, offers readers an opportunity to communicate directly with God in a way akin to visionaries and prophets.

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