on this page is from David Lavery, "An Owen Barfield Readers
Guide." Seven 15 (1998): 97-112.
A Poetic Drama.
C. Ulreich, Jr. West Stockbridge, MA: Lindisfarne Press, 1983.
shall ascend Parnassus
awake and find his soul:
had written the verse drama Orpheus in the 1930s, partly at the
suggestion of C. S. Lewis. The play was performed only once, in 1948, and
remained buried in Barfield’s papers until John
Ulreich, Jr. of the University
of Arizona, tantalized by Barfield’s allusions to it, disinterred it and saw
it through to publication in 1983. Ulreich rightly praises Orpheus as
"the evolution of consciousness made flesh, the thing itself in human form,
the myth made fact as imaginative experience" (119).
shall work unsleeping for ever, and forms shall flow
the meaning of words a poet has mastered. It shall be so
Zeus shall abandon to Cronos
the antique starry crown,
softly out of Olympus the high Gods shall come down
ambrosial fragrance in clouds that for ever abide,
earth shall be covered with blushes and make herself sweet as a bride.
her light shall be liquid as honey, her air taste good like bread
the mouths of them that dwell upon earth, and all shall be fed. (Orpheus