CS Lewis: A Sonnet

Scribe of the Kingdom, Keeper of the Door

Scribe of the Kingdom, Keeper of the Door

As I mentioned in my last post, this is a Jubilee year for CS Lewis as, fifty years after his death, we reassess his extraordinary legacy. That can be done in lots of ways and I will be participating in some of the conferences that will hilight the sheer weight and power of his academic work, and explore the depth and richness of his imaginative writing. But for many of us the debt we owe to Lewis is more personal, and more poetic; it is a debt to someone who has opened a spiritual door, someone who has baptised the imagination. As I worked on academic papers I found that what I also needed to do was write a poem! So here is a sonnet articulating something of who Lewis is and what we owe to him. It will be appear as part of a sequence called ‘The Household of Faith’ in The Singing Bowl, my next volume of poetry with the Canterbury Press, which should be out in November.

As usual you can hear me read the poem by clicking on the ‘play’ button, or on the title

CS Lewis

From ‘Beer and Beowulf’ to the seven heavens,

Whose music you conduct from sphere to sphere,

You are our portal to those hidden havens

Whence we return to bless our being here.

Scribe of the Kingdom, keeper of the door

Which opens on to all we might have lost,

Ward of a word-hoard in the deep hearts core

Telling the tale of Love from first to last.

Generous, capacious, open, free,

Your wardrobe-mind has furnished us with worlds

Through which to travel, whence we learn to see

Along the beam, and hear at last the heralds,

Sounding their summons, through the stars that sing,

Whose call at sunrise brings us to our King.

Your wardrobe mind has furnished us with worlds

Your wardrobe mind has furnished us with worlds


Filed under imagination, Inklings, literature, Poems

10 responses to “CS Lewis: A Sonnet

  1. I love this. And the wardrobe picture is so close to how I imagined the magic one!

  2. Bethany

    Another brilliant poem–such a rich honor to the legacy of C.S. Lewis. Thank you for sharing it here.

  3. Yes, that wardrobe, that mind — what wonders have come out of it

  4. Thank you for this sonnet hommage. And now a story and a small tribute. My religious education teacher at girl’s school in England in the early 1950s when I was about fifteen years old, had studied with C.S. Lewis. She chose as a ‘set’ book, “The Screwtape Letters”. She knew feisty young English schoolgirls would love it. I’ve long forgotten the details of the maps we had to draw of the journey’s of the apostles in the Acts, but I’ve not forgotten Lewis! At that time too I was much influenced by Lewis’ views on Christian marriage. Since then I’ve read most of his books; they stay on my bookshelf. My grownup children and grandchildren have discussed the difference between Lewis’ ‘Narnia’ books and the Harry Potter books. What is ‘real’ magic? One of the best Christians.

    • malcolmguite

      Wonderful. And part of the magic is the way one returns to his books after many years and still finds more than before

  5. anitamathias

    Lovely. I wasn’t feeling like working on my book, so thought I would read/listent to some poetry to get me into the mood. What a treat to hear your crisp, beautiful voice read it!

  6. Pingback: Remembering Lewis | Brooke Boriack

  7. Pingback: C.S. Lewis: Then & Now - By Living Waters

  8. Pingback: Lewis and the Poetic Imagination, by Malcolm Guite

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