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  • Kathy Shimpock

"Broken with the Soil" - a poem by Pierre Van Passen

Half of our misery and weakness

derives from the fact

that we have broken with the soil

and that we have allowed the roots

that bound us to the earth to rot.

We have become detached from the earth,

we have abandoned her.

And a man who abandons nature

has begun to abandon himself.


The following directions for reflective reading come from the Benedictine practice of Lectio Divina (or holy reading). I find this process equally valuable for uncovering the wisdom of poetry.

  1. Read the poem linked above slowly.

  2. As you do so, look for a word in the poem that stands out to you.

  3. Now, read the poem a second time.

  4. What phrase stands out for you?

  5. What is this poem saying to you today? What message might you take forward?

  6. Share your thoughts with us in the comment area below.

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