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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4 Comments

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4 responses to “CS Lewis: A Sonnet

  1. Paul Gilmore

    Dear Malcolm,  I love this sonnet thank you for sharing again. I went for ‘the triple’ last year remembering that JFK and Huxley also died on this day. NOVEMBER MAGI – A SONNET OF THREE WISE MEN Collapsed amongst the tea things,transported further up and further in,on a day when a Dallas gunshot rings,and the world is again aware of sin.on a day a philosopher, tripping, died in bed,and to brave new worlds soaredbeyond the mysteries of the dead,and each, to explore the as yet unexplored.Of that November day,which brought to each their final hours,and removed each a world away,beyond the earth, and sun, and stars.If these three seekers meet, plus ultra, hereafter;will they of their heretofore, surprised by joy, share laughter?22 November 2021 In 2013 I put together a display in Belfast Cathedral. ‘C.S. Lewis Chapter One’ (now at last they are beginning chapter one of that great story…) which celebrated his legacy after he began his own chapter one. I got a local bookbinder to make me a book ‘bigger than the Bible in Church’ for people to write their favourite quotations or write what Lewis meant to them. I invited local schools and local politicians and visitors to the cathedral. It was a bit of an epic failure! All best. Paul

  2. Allegra Smick

    Marvelous sonnet to a great saint of Christendom

  3. Charles Twombly

    I love this, Malcolm.

    Charles (your aging friend in Georgia, USA) ________________________________

  4. I love this poem! Thank you for sharing your gift with us and commemorating Lewis with your beautiful poetry.
    I will share it on my author Facebook page.
    Blessings from an Oxbridge friend in Northern Virginia.
    Melanie

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