She is best known for her works Inninsagurra, Ninmesarra, and Inninmehusa, which translate as ‘The Great-Hearted Mistress’, The Exaltation of Inanna’, and ‘Goddess of the Fearsome Powers’, all three powerful hymns to the goddess Inanna (later identified with Ishtar and, still later, Aphrodite). These hymns re-defined the gods for the people of the Akkadian Empire under Sargon’s rule and helped provide the underlying religious homogeniety sought by the king. For over forty years Enheduanna held the office of high priestess, even surviving the attempted coup against her authority by Lugal-Ane.
In addition to her hymns, Enheduanna is remembered for the forty-two poems she wrote reflecting personal frustrations and hopes, religious devotion, her response to war, and feelings about the world she lived in. Her writing is very personal and direct and, as the historian Stephen Bertman notes:
The hymns provide us with the names of the major divinities the Mesopotamians worshipped and tell us where their chief temples were located [but] it is the prayers that teach us about humanity, for in prayers we encounter the hopes and fears of everyday mortal life. (172)
Enheduanna’s prayers very clearly express those hopes and fears and do so in a very distinct voice. Paul Kriwaczek paints a picture of the poet at work: