St Francis And The Sow

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Confucius, the well-known philosopher during the Spring and Autumn era of Chinese history, once said “Everything has beauty, but not everyone sees it.” In other words, people sometimes overlook certain elements of things that can be considered beautiful when it is not shown physically. Like so, Galaway Kinwell’s poem, “Saint Francis and the Sow”, talks about the inner beauty within everything. I think the theme of the poem is that beauty exists within everything, even within a dirty animal like the sow, and Galaway Kinwell was able to portray his ideas through the use of situational irony and details. The contrast between Saint Francis and the sow creates situational irony through the different connotations that come with the two words.…show more content…
While talking about buds and flowers, the narrator says, “...sometimes it is necessary.../to put a hand on its brow/ of the flower/ and retell it in words and in touch/ it is lovely” (lines 5-10). In other words, even flowers need reminders that they are beautiful. Flowers are symbols of beauty and loveliness. Through these lines, the narrator is saying that even things that symbolize beauty and loveliness forget about their identity, and need reminders of their wonderful existance. After this quote, the poem creates situational irony through Saint Francis and the sow because someone of holy stature is telling a earthly beast that it is beautiful. In the second part of the poem, the narrator says, “...Saint Francis/ put his hands on the creased forhead of the sow, and told her in words and in touch.../ the perfect loveliness of the sow” (lines12-14, 24). Saint Francis of Assisi, the Catholic friar from the twelth and thirteenth centuries, is a holy figure that can be associated with goodness. Compared to a sow, which can be used as an insult, Saint Francis is a holy figure…show more content…
Within the poem, the words used to describe the sow is less than flattering. The narrator describes words that indicate beastliness within the sow. After Saint Francis sang blessing for the sow, the narrator says, “...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” (lines 15-19 ). The lines describe the sow and uses words like “earthen snout”,”fodder and slops”, and “hard spininess” to describe the sow. The phrases “earthen snout” and fodder and slops” has to do with wildstock, and “hard spininess” describes the sow as a rough creature. These words have negative connotation to them, which helps give details and make it so the sow looks like a hard, dirty beast. By using words with negative connotation, the narrator is able to make the sow uglier to emphasize the main theme of the poem. After the lines that describe the sow itself, the narrator moves onto the way the sow feeds her children, saying,. “the sheer blue milken dreaminess spurting and shuddering/ from the fourteen teats into the fourteen mouths sucking and blowing beneath them:”(lines 22-23). Although the sow is being a motherly figure to her piglets, the imagery that comes from the details is not pleasant. The word “teats” has a

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