Owen Barfield’s Poetry

Posted by on October 21, 2013 at 11:55 am.

At the end of June, I had the honour of co-organizing, attending, and presenting at this year’s Centre of Theology and Philosophy conference on The Soul. We had an amazing list of keynote presenters (including Marilynne Robinson) amongst a large number of extremely high-quality papers by other academics, both from students and professionals. Of the many highlights of the event, the grandson of Inkling Owen Barfield, Owen A. Barfield,Jr. was able to attend for one of the conference days. He brought a large number of his grandfather’s works, selling them at a heavily discounted price. It was a treat to be able to meet a person who could share a part of this literary, philosophy, and theological history.

I recently received an e-mail from the official Owen Barfield Literary Estate regarding the release of some previously unpublished poems of Barfield. “Air Castles” is particularly fun, but this one entitled “An Autumn Bicycle-Ride” caught my eye as particularly seasonally appropriate:

The leaves, grown rusty overhead,
Dropped on the road and made it red.
The air that coldly wrapped me round,
Stained by the glowing of the ground,
Had bathed the world in the cosy gloom
Of a great, red-carpeted, firelit room;
It filled my lungs, as I rode along,
Till they overflowed in a flood of song,
And joy grew truculent in my throat,
Uttering a pompous trombone-note;
For this elegant modern soul of mine
Was warm with old Autumn’s rich red wine.

More can be found here.

I was able to snap a picture of Owen A. Barfield (on the right) along with my great friend and colleague, Michael DiFuccia, who recently submitted his PhD thesis on the work of Owen Barfield (the Inkling).

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It was an honour to meet him and exciting to see him promoting the continued publication of his grandfather’s work.