A Sense of Wonder

A Sense of Wonder

The Bright Field

I have seen the sun break through
to illuminate a small field
for a while, and gone my way
and forgotten it. But that was the
pearl of great price, the one field that had
treasure in it. I realise now
that I must give all that I have
to possess it. Life is not hurrying

on to a receding future, nor hankering after
an imagined past. It is the turning
aside like Moses to the miracle
of the lit bush, to a brightness
that seemed as transitory as your youth
once, but is the eternity that awaits you.

– R.S. Thomas Laboratories of the Spirit (1975)

This is a poem marked by silence; an unpeopled poem, except for I, you, and Moses. These are all silent: I, remembering a field and the way that I had forgotten it; Moses, caught in his act of turning aside; you, reading the poem. The brevity of the poem creates a silence around it, a silence of interpretation. Whatever the poem is trying to tell you, it has couched it in metaphor and parable, or images of such ordinariness that your imagination must complete them. I described it as a pearl, but laid out in its near-rectangle on the page, it also resembles a field – a bright field, a field with the treasure of revelation in it. When I read it, I hear eternity reverberating within.

Source: Thinkingfaith

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