In previous books, both prose and poetry, Bodo has returned to his childhood in Gallup, New Mexico and his going off to seminary in Cincinnati at the age of fourteen. Now, at eighty-five, he wonderfully conflates his youth with his present life. Take the long poem “To Go to Assisi.”
Here, in his latest volume of poetry—Teaching the Soul to Speak—Murray Bodo is saying some goodbyes. Bodo is in his eighties, as he mentions in several of the poems. His yearly pilgrimages to Assisi are apparently over, but the city and all that it has meant to him stay alive in his poems, filling an entire section of the book.