Posted by: Philip Carr-Gomm | October 28, 2013

The Bard

DSC_0016“The bard is the one willing to learn, the one especially willing to learn unwelcome things about what the rest of us know. It is a burdensome, weighty proposition, one guaranteed to oblige the bard to run headlong into the blast of his or her time…
And that is as it has always been for the deep storytellers. They pay a debt to life unsuspected by the rest of us. Part holy fool and court jester, part spiritual lawyer for the human encounter with the divine, the bard is the great rememberer, the librarian of all refused stories.

Bards are first and always story hearers, and story seers. The capacity for story lives in their eyes and ears, as well as on their tongue.”

Stephen Jenkinson


  1. wow, that sure resonates with me.

  2. these words pull at me and remind me of my desire to study and learn to be a bard.

  3. … as some say, perhaps , for some, an inherent price worth paying, the tragic pain of the blessing… (lol! – but as Rumi often put it, i.e, but not before wrenching and ripping the Heart asunder first). ‘Listen if you dare’, and so on. (I’m sure Leonard Cohen, for example, would probably agree!)

    This article also reminded me in some ways of Kathleen Raine’s famous poem, The Presence, some of which is:

    ‘Present, ever-present presence,
    Never have you not been
    Here and now in every now and here,
    And still you bring
    From your treasury of colour, of light,
    Of scents, of notes, the evening blackbird’s song,
    How clear among the green and fragrant leaves,
    As in childhood always new, anew…

    …We weave and interweave, slender as light,
    Intangible substance of the age-old
    Ever-extending all, makers and made
    Who feel the pull of love, of grief, on every thread.’

    — from The Presence, poems (1984-7), by Kathleen Raine, London.

  4. Reblogged this on My Bardic Year and commented:
    A wonderful definition of being a Bard from Philip Carr-Gomm OBOD’s chosen chief. Maybe I can reflect on this for B.

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