St. Francis And The Sow Poem by Galway Kinnell

St. Francis And The Sow

Rating: 2.9

The bud
stands for all things,
even 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 St. 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 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.

Lucy O 30 January 2024

This poem reflects a threefold beauty: that of St Francis, that of the sow and that of Galway Kinnell's respectful perspective.

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Michael Walker 25 June 2020

I can accept the stunning beauty of flowers, but I have trouble seeing anything attractive about a sow. These animals revel in mud and dirt, and even St. Francis cannot redeem that. The saint was not always right.

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Vnivola 23 June 2018

Here’s a good one

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Claudia Moline 08 May 2010

Wonderful poem. Found it first in a book and am sharing it with others. Should be considered a classic,

4 0 Reply
Galway Kinnell

Galway Kinnell

Providence, Rhode Island
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