Reflecting the Mind of the
Vatican Since 1850

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Images of Nature in Five Authors: St Francis, Borges, Montale, Hopkins, Malaparte
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Pope Francis’ 2015 encyclical Laudato Si’ (LS) and his recent Apostolic Exhortation Laudate Deum (LD), of October 4, 2023, have drawn the attention of the Church to the environment. He has also renewed focus on how we relate to creation, which is envisioned as a sacrament of communion where networks develop and connections unfold among its many elements. He has emphasized how one should contemplate nature from within, recognizing the bonds of fraternity that exist among all living beings. In the encyclical’s opening lines, the pope quotes St. Francis’ Canticle of Creatures, with its repeated invitation to praise. The Canticle is a beautiful prayer, but it is also a wonderful poem.

This consideration has prompted us to reflect on the role nature plays in poetry. The theme is as vast as creation and as large as the dimensions of language: human space par excellence that feeds on symbols. We could say that creation and poetry are closely related, since creation is itself a place of relationships, and inspires poetry as a form of speech that lives from the relationship between subjects.

Aware of the breadth of such a reflection, we can design a brief attempt at linking some texts, of poetry and prose, without any ambition of exhaustiveness, with the desire to convey to the reader an interest in a personal investigation of how literature, in its own ways and within the formal rules that belong to it, can grasp and convey the possible relations of humans with creation.
© Union of Catholic Asian News 2024
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