November 4, 2014

SAINT FRANCIS AND THE SOW by Galway Kinnell

Berkshire sow and piglets. Photo from M. Dobson of Wind n' Woolly Acres
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 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.

© 1980 by Galway Kinnell  1927-2014
Online Source: http://faculty.washington.edu/jnh/vol1no1/sow.htm
 
What a lovely poem. I had to share this. I do not have pigs, but the poem would be fitting for any mother, including a ewe. Thank you Mary, for the photo of your lovely sow!  ~Val


My Outaouais Arcott ewe Brownie with just born quadruplets.

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