Seamus Heaney - Saint Francis and the Birds - Poetry Analysis

Saint Francis and the Birds

Saint Francis and the Birds Inspired, perhaps, by the sights and sounds of bird-flight around the areas in front of Italian cathedrals and churches, Heaney celebrates an admired religious figure’s relationship with the natural world. The saint’s mission to spread his message is not dissimilar to that of the poet.   In the poem’s setting, the eponymous Francis preached love to the birds. Using the cleric’s mystical reputation for communication, Heaney fuses words and birds into a surreal visual animation: having listened they took off, fluttered, throttled up/ … like a flock of words/ Released for fun from his holy lips. Then they wheeled back, whirred about his head, showing their delight, transmitting his message of love to those congregated via the way they revolved around the clerics walking by Pirouetted on brothers’ capes, Danced on the wing, for sheer joy played/ And sang. The power of love woven into […read more….]