• David Carlson

824: I too take long walks in the fields and woods. Sometimes, I speak secretly to the birds

Day 824: Saturday, June 18, 2022

“I too take long walks in the fields and woods./Sometimes, I must confess/I speak secretly to the birds,”

Following Jacqueline and David through the fields of France:



The medieval town of Saint-Céré has successfully preserved its architectural heritage, with its old houses, its mansions and its beautiful Mercadial square featuring a fountain and surrounded by beautiful timber-framed stone residences. The River Bave, which crosses the city, bring an additional charm to the place. Near the old town of Saint-Céré stand the towers of Saint-Laurent, remains of the former castle of the Turenne viscounts. Saint-Laurent-les-Tours boasts today the Jean Lurçat workshop museum, a place entirely devoted to the works of the artist, from tapestry to cartoons through painting.


Here's a poem I found about St. Francis by a poet writing to him through a series of poems:


Dear Francis

(On the occasion of your stigmata),


As if

you could

know

why a seraph

should appear,

why its six

dazzling wings

should enfold

the dying Christ.

As if

you could ask

the mountain’s

jutting rocks

what provoked

those lonely hills

to illuminate

your fast.





Because

I cannot say

why love and pain

go hand in hand,

I will not

doubt

the sky

tore up

in flames,

that day of joy

and blood—

nor that

you bore

His wounds.


From one unpierced

~ A poem by Abigail Carroll


The Poetry of Pilgrimage

A Review of A Gathering of Larks by Abigail Carroll


Abigail Crroll challenges the idea of a pilgrim by giving the speaker of her poems no destination, but simply a journey with Christ. Despite the subtitle of the collection—“Letters to St. Francis from a Modern-Day Pilgrim” she is a modern woman progressing through life.


In this, Carroll usurps the traditional image of a pilgrim, and instead focuses on a modern Christian, one who faces upheavals, doubts and struggles. She parallels this journey to the life of St. Francis, finding inspiration and consternation in his life and the stories associated with him.


The poems are written as letters directly to St. Francis. The poet is clearly enamored with St. Francis, his life, and his legends. Most of the poems retell moments in his life. For example, the poem “Dear Wolf-whisperer” begins, “That you proposed a pact with a wolf/should make me think you/mad.” The poem “Dead Jongleur de Dieu” starts with the lines:


When your lungs failed

and your sight was all but gone,

took on

a new kind of work; you canticled

the sun.


“I too take long walks in the fields and woods.

Sometimes, I must confess/I speak secretly to the birds,”



Keep walking and talking to the birds Jacqueline and David!




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