CS Lewis: A Sonnet

Scribe of the Kingdom, Keeper of the Door

Scribe of the Kingdom, Keeper of the Door

As well as being the feast of Christ the King and St. Cecilia’s day, 22nd November is also the day CS Lewis died in 1963. I remember the great celebration of his life work and witness we had throughout 2013 and especially the honour and pleasure I had in Lecturing on him at St. Margaret’s Westminster and attending the ceremony whereby his memorial stone was installed in Poet’s corner. an event that would not have taken place without the hard work and forsight of Michael Ward amongst others. I wrote a  sonnet  for Lewis as part of that year of celebration., and so on the Anniversary of his death I am posting it again here. It has now been published in my volume of poems The Singing Bowl, with Canterbury Press.

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

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 christianity, Inklings, Poems

12 responses to “CS Lewis: A Sonnet

  1. Thank you for this lovely sonnet – I hadn’t realized that Lewis had died on 11/22/63 – same day that President John F. Kennedy was assassinated in the United States. Two such powerful souls leaving the earth so close in time… C.S. Lewis has always stirred my heart like no other.

    • malcolmguite

      Thanks. Yes it’s a remarkable fact. And because of President Kennedy’s assassination understandably dominating the news for weeks nobody realised CSL had gone

  2. Pingback: CS Lewis: A Sonnet | All in Black Went My Love

  3. Thankyou. Absolutely right that we should celebrate the passing of this man who is so well remembered by so many Christians.

  4. Lovely poem. Wonderfully read. Thank you!

  5. Wow! Wardrobe mind! Well I’m sure we’ve all wandered into that ward drone. I chose a book of advent poems for my birthday and thought the name was familiar, yours! It was on sale at Woodbrooke, Quaker Centre. I often like to focus on something for advent even if becoming more of a quaker!

  6. Jim Fraser

    Inspiring and thanks for your excellent reading of your wonderful poem! I will go back to hear it again “to learn to see” more of author and our King. Jesus.

  7. Bravo, Professor! Should I live long enough to tip back a beer with you in Cambridge my life would be even more enriched. I’ll write you a proper letter someday, God willing. For now, accept my gratitude for this post via this humble comment.

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