When Vera told me she was going to make Hymn of the Pearl bracelets I was so happy, because that’s my favorite poem. I’ve read it over a thousand times (seriously), and over the years, I’ve found various parts of it that I understand a little better and some that I’ve experienced, like the lonely or losing my way parts. Below is my summary and interpretation of the poem.
At a young age, St. Thomas is set down by his parents to take his pearl from a terrifying serpent. Two guardians accompany him, because he’s too young to be alone.
Once, he’s old enough, he leaves them and goes to where the massive serpent lives to get his pearl.
He dresses like the others, so they won’t know who he is or what his purpose is, but they recognize that he is not one of them, and they work their wiles on him.
He starts to get lonely for company and befriends them, but they’re not really his friends. Instead, he forgets who he is and his purpose to grab his pearl. He falls into a sleep and becomes a slave to their king and ways.
His parents are watching all of this and become alarmed, and tell everyone in their kingdom that their son needs help. So, many people get together and send him a letter in the form of an eagle to remind him who he is and about his pearl.
The eagle arrives and St Thomas wakes up and remembers that he is the son of king and how he has to go get his pearl from the serpent and return home.
He goes straight away to the dangerous serpent and lulls him into a sleep and grabs his pearl then goes home.
Where everyone is waiting for him and there’s a huge party honoring his achievements and how he was active in his learning by going down to that land.
He gets to keep his pearl and his name is written in the book of heroes where angels sing about him.