Monday, February 8, 2016

Joy Davidman

Joy Davidman (1915—1960) is an American-born poet who is best known as the wife of C.S. Lewis. The 1993 movie Shadowlands (starring Anthony Hopkins and Debra Winger) dramatized the story of their relationship, right down to her death from cancer.

A Naked Tree: Love Sonnets to C.S. Lewis and Other Poems (Eerdmans, 2015) is a new comprehensive collection of her poetry, which includes the complete manuscript of her 1938 collection, Letter to a Comrade, which won both the Yale Series of Younger Poets Competition, and the Russell Loines Memorial Award. It also includes many poems addressed to Lewis, including a sequence of 45 love sonnets which she wrote in her pursuit of a love relationship with him.

My review of A Naked Tree will appear in the forthcoming issue of Sehnsucht: The C.S. Lewis Journal.

Love Sonnets to C.S. Lewis XXXIV

No, it was neither you, nor God, but I
Whose nature drove the dagger in my side
So deadly near my heart; if I should die
Of loving you, call it suicide.

Had I the choice of being otherwise
Than this meek amorous wretch? I cannot know;
I can be certain that I would not choose
Any lesser gate of death than you.

If I rebel, it is not that I crave for
More of this world's sweet poison in my food;
Only, when I see my children sleeping,
I think I have a task to keep alive for;
But they and I must take our chance on God.
Let it be as He wills, and no more weeping.

Entry written by D.S. Martin. His latest 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.