Poem of the Week

15 Jun

 

St. Francis of Assisi is loved by Catholic and non-Catholics. Environmentalists claim him as their patron saint. Jorge Bergoglio added Francis to the list of papal names. Poet Galway Kinnell, a son of Ireland, finds Francis blessing a sow in the hog pen. Enjoy Kinnell’s poem. Find what makes Francis tick, and can inspire you, in Living Like Francis Today. Click here to read a sample chapter.

 

 

Saint Francis and the Sow

The bud
stands for all things,
even for those things that don’t flower,
for everything flowers, from within, of self-blessing;  
though sometimes it is necessary
to reteach a thing its loveliness,
to put a hand on its brow
of the flower
and retell it in words and in touch
it is lovely
until it flowers again from within, of self-blessing;  
as Saint Francis
put his hand on the creased forehead
of the sow, and told her in words and in touch  
blessings of earth on the sow, and the sow  
began remembering all down her thick length,  
from the earthen snout all the way
through the fodder and slops to the spiritual curl of the tail,  
from the hard spininess spiked out from the spine  
down through the great broken heart
to the sheer blue milken dreaminess spurting and shuddering  
from the fourteen teats into the fourteen mouths sucking and blowing beneath them:
the long, perfect loveliness of sow.

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