Inspiring Poems: “Tintern Abbey”

Inspiring Poems: “Tintern Abbey”

In his book “Immortal Diamond”, Richard Rohr says that “We are made for transcendence“. I can still vividly remember reading these lines for the first time as a teenager in my bedroom in Wandsworth, London.  They took me out and away from suburban life and into this very sens of the transcendent :


“These beauteous forms,

Through a long absence, have not been to me

As is a landscape to a blind man’s eye:

But oft, in lonely rooms, and ‘mid the din

Of towns and cities, I have owed to them,

In hours of weariness, sensations sweet,

Felt in the blood, and felt along the heart;

And passing even into my purer mind

With tranquil restoration:—feelings too

Of unremembered pleasure: such, perhaps,

As have no slight or trivial influence

On that best portion of a good man’s life,

His little, nameless, unremembered, acts

Of kindness and of love. Nor less, I trust,

To them I may have owed another gift,

Of aspect more sublime; that blessed mood,

In which the burthen of the mystery,

In which the heavy and the weary weight

Of all this unintelligible world,

Is lightened:—that serene and blessed mood,

In which the affections gently lead us on,—

Until, the breath of this corporeal frame

And even the motion of our human blood

Almost suspended, we are laid asleep

In body, and become a living soul:

While with an eye made quiet by the power

Of harmony, and the deep power of joy,

We see into the life of things.”

(from ‘Tintern Abbey’ by William Wordsworth)

seeintothelifeofthings WORDSWORTH

Later I would write my own tribute to Wordworth’s lines:


Often when the dreadful weight of this

Unintelligible and weary world

Oppressed me like a care, I turned thankful

To your poetry – I felt it move

Along my veins, inside my heart, when I

Was young and saw into the life of things.

That was a blessed time, though transitory,

And soon I had to leave to find my own

Philosophy, though nature always kept

A place of refuge and a solace for

My soul.  And now in lonely cities, in

My room and ‘mid the roar of nearby roads,

I think of you, and I recall my early

Wanderings in the world of poetry.


placerefuge JOC


Wordsworth writes about connection in his poem


connectlandscapesky WORDSWORTH


…another theme I have taken up in my own work:


The wild birds inhabit these hills

and I, a walker,


Glancing down the valley

dazzled by gleaming lights


Flung across the fields

Like necklaces


I feel connected

With the wind


The grass under my feet

God’s sky above my head.



You can read Wordsworth’s poem “Lines Written A Few Miles Above Tintern Abbey”  here.

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