Raymond Barfield on how a poet taught him to see beauty of creation again

In the Winter 2017 Issue of Comment, “Ancient Friendships,” TMC’s Ray Barfield discusses his experience with burnout and how a poet taught him to see beauty of creation again.

“Over time, I discovered that one way past this crisis was to recover a kind of mindful wonder at the beauty that shows up in my work and life, even when the stories are hard or tragic. I found a friend who helped me relearn how to see the world, a friend with a mind adept at using images that mine the riches of creation’s treasure house. He saw significance where others saw only shapes. He had learned to ask of the shadows that form in this strange universe what they are shadows of, and what light allows such shadows to be cast. Gerard Manley Hopkins who, in “Pied Beauty,” asked what it is that allows us to see “All things counter, original, spare, strange” as an opportunity to “Praise him,” gave me the gift of redeemed sight through his poems. His poetry was not easy for me, but neither were the lessons I needed to learn if I was going reimagine my own vocation.”

Read the full essay here.