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

21 responses to “CS Lewis: A Sonnet

  1. Ben

    It is truly beautiful! May I reblog it?

  2. Ben

    Reblogged this on Des Fuchses Gesang and commented:
    Zum Jahrestag von C.S. Lewis’ Tod hat Malcolm Guite ein Sonett zu seinem Gedächtnis geschrieben. Es ist wirklich lesenswert!

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  4. thank you, Malcolm, reblogged on https://briarcroft.wordpress.com/2017/11/22/keeper-of-the-door/ along with my own poem about the wardrobe at the Wade Center. You have said it so beautifully in your sonnet!
    Emily Gibson

  5. Mary Dorey

    Thank you Malcolm for all your mails. I always enjoy them. I’m wondering if you have got the Daedalus Press book of Heaney as I have ordered it for you for Christmas and in case you have it already I need to change my plans. Hope you, Maggie and your children are all doing well. I’m fine though I broke my wrist earlier in May and have given up driving as a consequence. Warm regards, Mary

    • malcolmguite

      Lovely to hear from you! No I don’t have the Daedalus Press book so that’s very kind. Do you have our current address in Linton? M

  6. Kenneth Willis

    That is quite wonderful. thank you! (i love the ‘wardrobe-mind’ and ‘along the beam’ and all the word-play)

  7. Paulo F Ribeiro


  8. Hilarius Maximus Bookbinder

    Malcolm Guite: A Sonnet

    From “Singing Bowl” to your C.S. Lewis sonnet,

    Whose iambic lines you marshal with such ease,

    We surely praise your verse–we’re fixed upon it.

    We pray the Lord your quatrains never cease.

    Your verses are the right writing to ride,

    As we make our way to Zion’s blessed ground

    With all your holy sonnets by our side

    Until God’s holy angels us surround.

    Now, we’re loath to praise another here,

    For too much yeast can ruin th’entire batch.

    But true genius knows not envy, casts out fear!

    There’s but one poet in England who’s your match.

    He taught us words can be as thick as thumbs,

    So I’ve used mine to pluck you both first plums.

  9. ruthrumsby

    Please can you change my email address on your list. Thanks.

    Ruth Rumsby


    01420 88182

  10. Pingback: Thanksgiving 2017 – Tipsy Teetotaler ن

  11. Patricia F Youngdale

    Lovely. I passed it on to the Central Texas C. S. Lewis Society (again this year!).

  12. Harry Matthews

    he was at traherne festival last summer I sadly missed him he is a great inKlings scholar u met him st Edwards Cambridge in 2007 when on teaching work experience he did a Julian Norwich meditation

    he is a friend of Esthers and is on staff of faculty of theology at Cambridge x

  13. Pingback: The Lone Lamp Post – Barnstorming

  14. Pingback: A Wardrobe Mind – Barnstorming

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