The Wisdom of Wild Grace: Poems

The Wisdom of Wild Grace: Poems

by Christine Valters Paintner


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At the core of this collection are 30 poems inspired by the stories of kinship between saints and animals. They come mostly from the early Christian desert and Celtic traditions, but also feature later medieval saints like St. Francis of Assisi and St. Julian of Norwich. These stories point to a reverence for a different way of knowing and being in the world, one our world is hungry for. Each poem in this collection is meant to be a doorway to intimacy with our inner wilderness, a call to sit and be present to what we discover beyond the borders of our neatly controlled worlds. 

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781640605589
Publisher: Paraclete Press
Publication date: 10/13/2020
Series: Paraclete Poetry
Pages: 144
Sales rank: 629,662
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x (d)

About the Author

Christine Valters Paintner, PhD, REACE is the online Abbess of Abbey of the Arts, a virtual monastery and global, ecumenical community integrating contemplative practice and creative expression. She is a Benedictine oblate living on the west coast of Ireland with her husband John. Together they lead pilgrimages and retreats in Ireland, Scotland, Germany, and Austria. Christine is the author Dreaming of Stones: Poems, and of twelve books on spirituality, monastic wisdom, creativity, and the arts including The Artist’s Rule and The Soul’s Slow Ripening. Her poems have been published in journals in the U.S., Canada, Ireland, and the UK.

Table of Contents

Introduction 11

You Are Here 15

Writing Wild

Original Poetry 19

St. Hildegard Gives Her Writing Advice 20

Aubade 22

Praise Be 23

I Greet the Muse 24

Poetry on Four Paws 25

Saints and Animals

Heron's Virtue 29

St. Dympna and the Horse 30

Ravens 32

Holy Cow 33

St. Brigid and the Oystercatchers 34

Book of Kells 37

St. Columba and the Crane 38

St. Columba and His Horse 40

St. Francis and the Wolf 42

St. Francis and the Grasshopper 44

St. Brendan and the Birds 47

St. Melangell and the Hare 48

St. Ciaran and His First Monks 51

St. Julian and the Cat 52

St. Marvan and the White Boar 55

St. Paul and the Lions 56

St. Ailbhe and the Wolf 58

St. Gall and the Bear 60

Ross Errilly Friary 62

St. Gobnait and the Bees 64

St. Kevin and the Otters 67

St. Kevin Holds Open His Hand 68

St. Cuthbert and the Otters 70

St. Columbanus in the Forest 72

St. Macarius and the Hyena 74

St. Clare and the Cat 75

The Swifts Preach to St. Clare 76

Myths and Fairy Tales

Once Upon a Time 81

What She Does Not Know 82

Selkie Song 83

Little Red Riding Hood 84

Pomegranate 86

Handless Maiden 87

Handless Maiden II 88

Apple Tree 89

Once 90

Dreaming 91

Solace of Wild Places

"When the Moon Comes Up" 95

When She Despairs 96

Love Letter 97

There is Wonder, Still 98

"Peace Comes from Dropping Slow" 99

"A Glimpse of the Underglimmer" 100

Spring Mysteries 101

Always 102

Spring Ephemerals 103

Summer Breezes 104

Nocturne 105

The Wild Self

Into the Forest 109

Crossing the Divide 110

Autobiography 111

"Things I Didn't Know I Loved" 112

Where Are You From? 113

Wittgenstein in Connemara 114

Every Day Has Its Dog 116

Welcome Home 117

Faith 118


My Last Poem 121

A Door Opens 122

Credits 124

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