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A shepherd's crook
William Blake's hand painted print for his poem ""The Shepherd" depicts the "idyllic scene of a shepherd watching his flock with a shepherd's crook. This image represents copy B, printed and painted in 1789 and currently held by the "Library of Congress.[1]

The shepherd's crook, essentially a long and sturdy stick with a hook at one end, is used by a "shepherd to manage and sometimes catch sheep. In addition, the crook may aid in "defending against attack by "predators. When traversing rough terrain, a crook is an aid to balance. Shepherds may also use the long implement to part thick undergrowth (for example at the edge of a "drovers' road) when searching for lost sheep or potential predators.

Symbolic use[edit]

The crook and flail on the coffinette of "Tutankhamun

The innovation of a "hook facilitates the recovery of fallen animals by ensnaring them by neck or leg. For this reason the crook has been used as a religious symbol of care (particularly in difficult circumstances), including the Christian bishop's "crosier.[2]

In medicine, the term shepherd’s crook is used to describe a "right coronary artery that follows an unusually high and winding route. This variant, which has a prevalence of about 5%,[3] imposes technical problems in "angioplasty procedures.[4]

"Thalia, "Muse of comedy in "Greek mythology, was usually seen holding a shepherd's crook.

The shepherd's crook and the "flail (an agricultural tool) are insignia of pharaonic authority: the "Crook and flail.


  1. ^ Morris Eaves, Robert N. Essick, and Joseph Viscomi (eds.). "Songs of Innocence, copy B, object 4 (Bentley 5, Erdman 5, Keynes 5) "The Shepherd"". "William Blake Archive. Retrieved January 17, 2014. 
  2. ^ Caeremoniale Episcoporum (Vatican Polyglott Press, 1985)
  3. ^ Shriki, Jabi E.; Shinbane, Jerold S.; Rashid, Mollie A.; Hindoyan, Antereas; Withey, James G.; DeFrance, Anthony; Cunningham, Mark; Oliveira, George R.; Warren, Bill H. (2012-03-01). "Identifying, Characterizing, and Classifying Congenital Anomalies of the Coronary Arteries". RadioGraphics. 32 (2): 453–468. "doi:10.1148/rg.322115097. "ISSN 0271-5333. 
  4. ^ Gossman, David E.; Tuzcu, E. Murat; Simpfendorfer, Conrad; Beck, Gerald J. (1988-01-01). "Percutaneous transluminal angioplasty for shepherd's crook right coronary artery stenosis". Catheterization and Cardiovascular Diagnosis. 15 (3): 189–191. "doi:10.1002/ccd.1810150313. "ISSN 1097-0304. 
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