The Year of the Flood A companion to Margaret Atwood's novel

The Year of the Flood
Today We Praise Our Saint Dian (Reflection)

“Today We Praise Our Saint Dian” from The God’s Gardeners Oral Hymnbook pg 316

This hymn honors Dian Fossey, a zoologist who focused her studies on primatology, or the study of primates. In regards to her mysterious murder in 1985, some speculate that she was murdered because of the hindrance she posed for those who wanted to capitalize on the tourism of gorillas. “Today We Praise Our Saint Dian” is meaningful because it moves beyond the spiritual message to a more political one:

Too many violent hands and hearts!

Dian, too sadly few like you –

For when a species dies from Earth,

We die a little too.

It not only condemns violence and greed in place of dedication and generosity, but it also highlights an important, oft ignored biological truth: the devastation of biodiversity threatens our own existence as humans.

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