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An Excerpt from The Soul Is Here for Its Own Joy edited by Robert Bly

This superb collection includes sacred poems from many cultures. Here is one by American poet William Stafford, known for his attention to the natural world.

Roll Call

Red Wolf came, and Passenger Pigeon,
the Dodo Bird, all the gone or endangered
came and crowded around in a circle,
the Bison, the Irish Elk, waited
silent, the Great White Bear, fluid and strong,
sliding from the sea, streaming and creeping
in the gathering darkness, nose down,
bowing to earth its tapered head,
where the Black-footed Ferret, paws folded,
stood in the center surveying the multitude
and spoke for us all: "Dearly beloved," it said.


See our map to Sacred Poetry.

 


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