Everything you need to understand or teach Saint Francis and the Sow by Galway Kinnell.
"The bud / stands for all things," are the first two lines of this poem, and in a few, simple words, makes a profound claim. It declares that this single phenomenon of nature, the bud, has an elemental, omnipresent power, and that "All things" incorporate something of its essence. Yet, powerful as "the bud" is in the universe of this poem, it stands small and vulnerable on a line by itself. There is an infant tenderness to the two-syllable line that is itself quite bud-like. Flower images are common to poetry, so it is not the presence of a "bud" that is surprising. Rather it is the unfolding juxtaposition of bud with sow, and it is on this pairing that the metaphorical power of the poem rests.
The next lines explore the meaning of "all things," and help explain the symbolic power of the bud. A bud contains within... View more of the Saint Francis and the Sow Summary