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Saint Francis and the Sow Summary
Galway Kinnell

Everything you need to understand or teach Saint Francis and the Sow by Galway Kinnell.

  • Saint Francis and the Sow Summary & Study Guide

Saint Francis and the Sow Summary


Francis and the Sow" appeared in Mortal Acts, Mortal Words in 1980. With its sensuous language of "touch" and blessing of earthly existence, this poem has become a signature piece for Kinnell's work in the last two decades. Nine years elapsed between The Book of Nightmares (1971) and this volume. In the "silent" interval between the two books, Kinnell took a new direction, sensing in 1972 that "a door has been closed on something." When it opened again, Kinnell's approach to mortality took fewer paths through the surreal and cosmic images that filled The Book of Nightmares, and more through ordinary rooms lit by day. This "Franciscan" poem and numerous others in Mortal Acts, Mortal Words—"After Making Love We Hear Footsteps," "Brother of My Heart," "Goodbye," "There are Things I Tell to No One"— are composed out of Kinnell's keen awareness of death-in-life.

What makes a poem such as "Saint Francis...

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Saint Francis and the Sow Study Guide

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