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Narrative Poems

3.66  ·  Rating Details  ·  101 Ratings  ·  5 Reviews
Lewis often said that his favorite form of literary expression was the narrative poem, although he appears to have written just four, all of which are collected here. They exhibit the romantic aspects of his temperament and reveal his deep love for medieval and Renaissance poetry. Edited and with a Preface by Walter Hooper.
Paperback, 192 pages
Published February 6th 1978 by Mariner Books (first published 1969)
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Hannah Givens
Aug 08, 2014 Hannah Givens rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry
The poetry in Dymer isn't very good, which is funny since it's the one Lewis actually published. More on that here:

The other three poems in this collection are actually quite good, and this would be a good resource for a lot of analytical writing, especially "The Queen of Drum" for Lewis and women. More on that here:
J. Alfred
Dymer is really good! Who knew? The other pieces in here are okay as well. Lewis as a narrative poet stays close to the Romantic tradition but has more cutting, modern lines that stay closer to the spoken English of our day than one is used to in the genre. If people ever start considering different types of poetry again, this one might experience a flowering. We're getting pretty close to a hundred years after its initial publication, so that would be a pretty impressive feat.
Tommy Grooms
I was least impressed by "Dymer" (the only poem in this volume published in Lewis' lifetime), though it is valuable in terms of showing Lewis' spiritual development and self-exorcism of his "Christina dreams." "Launcelot" begins promisingly, but suffers a good deal from being incomplete. "The Nameless Isle" is fun for having some precursors of the ending of Perelandra and Narnia's White Witch. Easily the most entertaining poem is "The Queen of Drum," managing to be clever, theological/political, ...more
Stephanie Ricker
Lewis actually wrote a narrative poem backed on Wagner's Ring Cycle when he was 15? *shakes head* Marry me, Clive Staples.

Sadly, ultimately the narrative poetry by Lewis, while good, was nowhere near as good as his prose. It's somewhat reassuring that not even Lewis can do everything well, I suppose.
Sep 15, 2009 Nicole rated it really liked it
I adored/loved this book. The narrative poems are wonderful narratives and c.s.lewis knowd how to use words so that even what is meant to be tragic is beautiful.
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CLIVE STAPLES LEWIS (1898–1963) was one of the intellectual giants of the twentieth century and arguably one of the most influential writers of his day. He was a Fellow and Tutor in English Literature at Oxford University until 1954. He was unanimously elected to the Chair of Medieval and Renaissance Literature at Cambridge University, a position he held until his retirement. He wrote more than th ...more
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