Celebrating ‘The Canticle’ at The Canticle: An evening with planetary poets


The Canticle, home of the Clinton Franciscans, is named for “The Canticle of Creation,” a mystical poem/song written by St. Francis of Assisi in the early 13th century. In it, Francis addresses “Brother Sun, Sister Moon, Brother Fire, and Sister Water,” and praises God for all creation.

“Celebrating the Canticle” is an evening with Francis as well as contemporary poets such as Wendell Berry and Mary Oliver whose great works are dedicated to preservation of the planet.

The evening of reflection on Thursday, Aug. 5, will begin at 4 p.m. and conclude at 8 p.m. It includes dinner.

“‘The Canticle of Creation’ sings of the whole of creation as a cosmic incarnation,” says Sister Mary Smith, director of retreats at The Canticle, who will lead the discussion.


“This genre of poetry offers us a vision of ‘reconciled space.’ We will explore the power of poetry to awaken us to a greater sense of our oneness with all creation and thereby transform our choices and patterns of daily life. Only through such transformation can we begin in earnest the work of restoring the devastation that we humans have brought to the Earth.”

“Poetry,” said Sr. Smith, “is a primary wellspring of reality. It can be the doorway to the world, providing entrance into the marvelous mystery of creation. Coming into contact with poets – ‘expert see-ers’ – we can begin to connect with creation and taste the joy and beauty of that intimacy.”

The evening with the planetary poets is the second “Peace through Poetry” program to be held at The Canticle. It will include times of stillness in the beauty of God’s creation on The Canticle grounds as well as group reflection and ritual and will conclude with dessert.

For details and to register, call Sisters of St. Francis, (563) 242-7611, or see www.clintonfranciscans.com.

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