Jefferey H. Taylor
Owen Barfield wrote The Tower between aprox. 1919 and 1925.
The original manuscript is held in the Bodleian Library.
Bodleian catalogue: ‘The Tower’, typescript copy, n.d.
Shelfmark: Dep. c. 1102 Extent: 58 leaves.
Editors: Jefferey H. Taylor & Leslie A. Taylor
Owen Barfield composed the long narrative poem in c.1950. The original manuscript is held in the Bodleian Library.
A transcript copy manuscript is in the Marion E. Wade Center
[Reference: OB/MS-105/X and OB/MS-166]
“Lovely atmosphere, like W. Morris without his coldness. Emotionally delicate & tender without sentimentality. Rather decorated. Sprightly & witty, never losing pace & rigour. Opening lines wonderfully witty & compact. Technique throughout admirable, the occasional internal rhymes etc. saving the easy rhythm from monotony. Visualisation brilliant, coming right into focus. The piety is quite lovely and decent, I accept it joyfully, conscious of the portent (how impossible this poem would have been 25 years ago) and feeling enlarged by it. The rough coquetry of the Unicorn is really ravishing. (It is usually represented as a delicate beast except in its strength & wildness, but I accept this version gladly) […] The abrupt, light, humorous end is as good as the opening in a different way. I think the length, weight, pattern of the piece well suited to the subject. Wouldn’t it make a good cantata?”
Riders on Pegasus
Editor: Dr. Jane Hipolito
Owen Barfield composed the poem in approximately 1950. The original manuscript is held in the Bodleian Library.
A transcript copy manuscript is in the Marion E. Wade Center.
[Reference: OB / MS-186 / X – THE MOTHER OF PEGASUS, 96 pages.]
Of Perseus and Andromeda my verses:
And yet this Tale has slept till now untold.
For delve in thine own heart―thou too shalt find
How their long reign brought in an age of gold
In Aethiopia, where they grew not old
But passed, as thou dost, listening, through time
Out to the Myth, the Word whose form is Man;
Therefore my tale is news; the dew’s still on my rhyme:
The dew― this drawing up from my own earth
How Myth, being present in the Word, began
To sketch on time his everlasting Now
In master tableaux― whence the soul of man
Took form and substance― takes it rather: Pan
Is piping here, and chaste Bellerophon,
Strong arm and martial spirit, friend, in thee,
Trampling (beneath what hooves!) Chimaera, passes on.
Poets―deep minds― would ye be priests of Meaning?
Makers―or scribes? Oh, utter all ye are!
Reach in those souls the world’s prophetic soul,
The Whole in each become particular,
The Myth: disclose the Word: growing aware
Of old imagination, born anew
As young experience: withered words shall bloom then,
And all your tales, like this new Tale of mine, be true.