Study Guide

Twelfth Song of Thunder Spirituality

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There isn’t any explicit mention of spirituality or gods up in the clouds in this poem, and yet “Twelfth Song of Thunder” evokes spirituality through its description of nature. The poem suggests that nature itself, with its many beautiful voices, is a source of spirituality. We just need to look and listen to the beauty of nature in order to get a sense of the divine, and to have access to a beautiful spiritual experience. So next time we’re looking for God, maybe we should just stare long and hard at a tree. Maybe the leaves will speak to us?

Questions About Spirituality

  1. In what ways does the poem suggest that the “voices” of nature are spiritual voices?
  2. How does the “land” nourish the speaker not only physically, but also spiritually?
  3. How is the spiritual experience that nature gives us all-encompassing? How might the speaker answer this question?

Chew on This

The poem proves that we don’t need to go to church to have a spiritual experience, we need to go to nature.

Actually, since there’s no mention of God, this isn’t a poem about spirituality.

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