Friday, January 22, 2010

Saint Francis and the Sow

I found this beautiful poem by Galway Kinnell after an excerpt was included in this post on Zen Habits.
May it remind you of your own perfect loveliness!

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.

with thanks to Sarah for her beautiful photograph x


  1. Have loved this poem for a LONG time. Got to hear Kinnell read it in the UK a few years ago, wonderful wonderful poet.

  2. Have you discovered this amazing poetry site?
    I made a resolution this year to learn by heart a new poem every week!

  3. Thanks Diana and welcome to my blog :-)
    And I think that's I wonderful resolution!