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From “Tintern Abbey” / William Wordsworth

I loved Wordsworth when I studied him as a Romantic teenager at school. And then was rather abashed in the very postmodern University world for liking anything so “spiritual”. Which made it sweet to find out that my director of studies, the arch-modernist poet Jeremy Prynne, was also a died-in-the-wool Wordsworth fan. Later I was also surprised when my then Buddhist teacher, Reggie Ray, also described Wordsworth as a vajrayana practioner avant la lettre.

I was inspired to read Tintern Abbey after coming across a snippet in a therapy text the other day. And this passage -best read slowly and out loud - spoke to me as very tantric.

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.

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