CS Lewis: A Sonnet

Scribe of the Kingdom, Keeper of the Door

Scribe of the Kingdom, Keeper of the Door

As well as being t 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 at which 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 waspublished 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

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11 Comments

Filed under imagination

11 responses to “CS Lewis: A Sonnet

  1. revdavidgrieve

    Wonderful reminders. I shall ponder as holiday time permits but, as ever, thank you, Malcolm

  2. Paul Gilmore

    Malcolm,  congratulations, I love this. In 2013 when I was a staff member of Belfast Cathedral during the period between the date of Lewis’ death 22 November and birth 29 November I made available the large leather bound book of blank pages ‘bigger than the bible in church’ (below) for people to write their own encounters of CS Lewis through his writings etc. I called the whole event ‘CS Lewis’ Chapter One’ (now at last they are beginning chapter one of that story…’ A good idea in theory but one with which people did not really engage – I think, sadly, we filled about ten pages. I was certainly overly optimistic in writing my own Lewis poem Centenary Child on the back page.  Thank you for sharing the sonnet on the day that is in it.  Best regards,Paul

  3. Malcolm,
    Thanks for this! Moments before you sent it, I got a post from Ross Wilson reminding me it was November 22. I will forward your post to him, though it is likely he already saw it. I’m off to Bucharest tomorrow, the to Cluj to meet with a Cadre of Romanian artists who want to discuss CSL’s big ideas to see if they can creatively imagine them & depict them in their work in preparation for a big Romanian CSL themed art show in two years. I hope, maybe you and Scott will be here for it. I will tell them all about you. The most well known among them is Liviu Mocan. He has sculptures on every continent & was the one who did the sculptures on the 5 Solas for the 500th anniversary of the Reformation. These were on display between Great St. Mary’s & King’s College Chapel at Cambridge. I think you mentioned to me that you saw them. I have a dream of being a fly on the wall in a room where you, Ross, Liviu, Scott & perhaps Ross’s good friend Keith Getty are all talking about, art, beauty & the Glory of God.
    To save time, I’ll copy Ross on this!
    You are in my prayers!
    Yours,
    Jerry

    Sent from my iPhone

  4. Malcolm, thanks for this. As an American, CSL’s death might be overshadowed by another 3-letter monogram, JFK (who also died today, along with Aldous Huxley). I was so deeply influenced in my growth in Christ by CSL, I quoted him twice in the sermon for my daughter’s and son-in-law’s wedding yesterday! I was asked by an Elder if I’ve had a single thought that didn’t originate in Lewis, and I happily replied, “Not anymore!”

  5. What a beautiful tribute to the apologist of the 20th century. His clarity and love of God speak to us richly. He enhances all of our lives.

  6. I love this poem, Malcolm, and have shared it on my author Facebook page: Melanie Jeschke_author. Thank you so much for this beautiful remembrance.

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