Wednesday, October 27, 2010

A New Side of C.S. Lewis

Who doesn't love C.S. Lewis? His Chronicles of Narnia series will never fail to delight and inspire its readers, and I understand his non-fiction books are equally amazing! :) I don't know about you all, but there is nothing I like better than to discover a new side to one of my favorite authors! :) So today while at my aunt's house when Sarah brought over a volume of C.S. Lewis's poetry, I knew I had to take a look! For some reason it had never crossed my mind that anyone who excelled so in prose could turn out such lovely poetry! Some of it, indeed, had a strange meter to it, but I found much of it beautiful! The discovery gave me the sort of feeling I had when I found out that Rachel Field, long one of my favorite poets, was an acclaimed authoress of novels also! :) Here are two of the poems that I found especially thoughtful. Beware though, you will have to put your mind to thinking a bit more with his poetry than if you are reading Robert Louis Stevenson! ;)

"Late Summer"
by C.S. Lewis

I, dusty and bedraggled as I am,
Pestered with wasps and weeds and making jam,
Blowzy and stale, my welcome long outstayed,
Proved false in every promise that I made,
At my beginning I believed, like you,
Something would come of all my green and blue.
Mortals remember, looking on the thing
I am, that I, even I, was once a spring.

Isn't that so bittersweet? Mama said it reminded her of an elderly person! :( The next poem, is addressed to "Andrew Marvell". I hadn't a clue who he was, so I took the liberty of Google-searching him, and found he was a poet in the late 17th century... I suppose he was criticized for writing light verse, as the general taste ran toward heavy, thinking, poetry, but I found the ideas in this poem very well fit my taste in poetry! (excepting the "godlike power" part, of course!) :)

"To Andrew Marvell"
by C.S. Lewis
Marvell, they say your verse is faint
Beside the range of Donne's;
Too clear for them, too free from taint
Of noise, your music runs.

Their sultry minds can ill conceive
How godlike power should dwell
Except where lungs with torment heave
And giant muscles swell.

The better swordsman with a smile
His cool passado gives;
Smooth is the flooding of the Nile
By which all Egypt lives.

Sweetness and strength from regions far
Withdrawn and strange you bring,
And look no stronger than a star
No graver than the spring.

*Passado: a thrust in fencing with one foot advanced
So I hope you enjoyed this rather deeper journey into poetry...this is the sort of thing that real poets write...*goes off to sigh over her own poetry* ;) I think it would be ever so much easier to write poetry for children! *goes off again to read "A Child's Garden of Verses"* ;) -Rachel

1 comment:

Anne-girl said...

I loved that first one!