Saint Peter Bestowing the Holy Ghost - Intercollegiate Studies Institute

Saint Peter Bestowing the Holy Ghost


An open tempietto holds the scene:
rib-vaulted ceiling, columns, land
and forking road beyond, then sky, marine,
a ship at anchor.  On Saint Peter’s hand

a dove is posed.  He reaches to bestow
the Spirit on one kneeling man, while three
await the holy gift.  Their faces show,
with patient attitude, deep faith and piety.

Two graybeards at the left look on; a third,
less gnarled, may be a skeptic.  Past the frame,
strange, fleshy plants, like squid, are linked.  The bird
of Heaven can hallow all, a living flame.

Catharine Savage Brosman is professor emerita of French at Tulane University and the author of Chained Tree, Chained Owls: Poems and a critical work, Mississippi Poets: A Literary Guide.

Subscribe to Modern Age

Founded in 1957 by the great Russell Kirk, Modern Age is the forum for stimulating debate and discussion of the most important ideas of concern to conservatives of all stripes. It plays a vital role in these contentious, confusing times by applying timeless principles to the specific conditions and crises of our age—to what Kirk, in the inaugural issue, called “the great moral and social and political and economic and literary questions of the hour.”

Get the Collegiate Experience You Hunger For

Your time at college is too important to get a shallow education in which viewpoints are shut out and rigorous discussion is shut down.

Explore intellectual conservatism
Join a vibrant community of students and scholars
Defend your principles

Join the ISI community. Membership is free.

You might also like