Saint Francis and the Sow

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.


'Saint Francis and the Sow' from Three Books: Body Rags: Mortal Acts, Mortal Words: The Past (Houghton Mifflin, 1993), © Galway Kinnell 1968, 1980, 1985, 1993, used by permission of the author and the publisher.

Recordings

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1First Song

2The Avenue Bearing the Initial of Christ into the New World

3The Bear

4Lastness: Section 2

5Fergus Falling

6After Making Love We Hear Footsteps

7Wait

8Blackberry Eating

9The Road Between Here and There

10The Olive Wood Fire

11The Fundamental Project of Technology

12Oatmeal

13When One Has Lived A Long Time Alone: parts 1, 7 & 9

14Rapture

15Shelley

16How Could She Not

17The Stone Table

18Insomniac

19It All Comes Back