Monday, November 18, 2013

C.S. Lewis*

C.S. Lewis (1898—1963) is one of the most influential writers of the twentieth century. Because of the way his mind worked, forming analogies to explain the complex ideas he was presenting, his fiction often had much more going on than what was merely on the surface. He is well-known for such creations as The Screwtape Letters (1942) written from the point-of-view of a senior demon dispensing advice to an underling on how to undermine the spiritual progress of a human subject — or The Great Divorce (1946) which tells of an imagined bus tour of heaven for those who dwell in hell.

I have chosen to mark the fiftieth anniversary of his death by releasing my poetry collection Conspiracy of Light: Poems Inspired by the Legacy of C.S. Lewis (Cascade Books), which further interacts with Lewis's fascinating way of looking at things.

He will also be honoured at Westminster Abbey on November 22nd — the anniversary of his death — when a memorial stone will be ceremoniously unveiled in Poets' Corner. Other poets honoured in the South Transept include Geoffrey Chaucer, William Blake, W.H. Auden, and former Lewis student John Betjeman.


Master they say that when I seem
To be in speech with you,
Since you make no replies, it’s all a dream
— One talker aping two.

They are half right, but not as they
Imagine; rather, I
Seek in myself the things I meant to say,
And lo! The well’s are dry.

Then, seeing me empty, you forsake
The Listener’s role, and through
My dead lips breathe and into utterance wake
The thoughts I never knew.

And thus you neither need reply
Nor can; thus while we seem
Two talking, thou art One forever, and I
No dreamer, but thy dream.

*This is the second Kingdom Poets post about C.S. Lewis: first post, third post

Entry written by D.S. Martin. His new poetry collection, Conspiracy of Light: Poems Inspired by the Legacy of C.S. Lewis, is available from Wipf & Stock as is his earlier award-winning collection, Poiema.