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Poems

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3.73 of 5 stars 3.73  ·  rating details  ·  418 ratings  ·  29 reviews
"This is the best—the glorious best—of Lewis. For here, with the gemlike beauty and hardness that poetry alone can achieve, are his ideas about the nature of things that lay behind his writings."—Christianity Today

Known worldwide for his fiction and philosophical essays, C.S. Lewis was just as much a poet as a polemicist. From the age of fourteen, he wrote poetry on just
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Paperback, 168 pages
Published November 4th 2002 by Mariner Books (first published January 1st 1964)
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The Essential Rumi by RumiMeeting With Christ and Other Poems by Deepak ChaswalCaressed by an Elfin Breeze by The Silver ElvesThe Miracle of Flowers by Robin Craig ClarkSeated Above, Looking Below by Bobby   Brown
Best Spiritual Poetry Book
12th out of 140 books — 43 voters
A Grief Observed by C.S. LewisOut of the Silent Planet by C.S. LewisThe Problem of Pain by C.S. LewisThe Screwtape Letters by C.S. LewisPerelandra by C.S. Lewis
Chronological Reading of C.S. Lewis
42nd out of 67 books — 8 voters


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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,152)
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Joe
May 17, 2011 Joe rated it 5 of 5 stars
Shelves: poetry
It was not until recently that I found Lewis had written poetry. Being not as well known for it, I did not expect it to be any kind of masterwork, and that was all one needs to remember to enjoy this. The poetry is still very good, but even more enjoyable. There are three things that really stand out to me:

1-Variety: Lewis writes his poetry on many different topics. From mythology to science and religion to philosophy. It was nice to find it well balanced enough that even though there are a coup
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Marguerite Harrell
I am reading this book but not in this edition though. It is a very old book without the ISBN number on the back or in the copyright page.

I just finish this book today at the doctor's office. It is Poems by C.S. Lewis. I am not used to read poems though. Some does makes sense and some does make me scratching my head. I found one of the best in his book.

The Nativity

Among the oxen (like an ox I'm slow)
I see a glory in the stable grow
Which, with the ox's dullness might at length
Give me an ox's st
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Matt
Do you like C.S. Lewis? Like have an unhealthy obsession with him? Like "I'm a recent seminary graduate clinging desperately to comfortable certainty" obsession? Then sure, read this, why not. No one will ever be able to convince you it's not genius.

Do you like poetry? Like, any poetic writing from Beowulf to Tracy K. Smith, Percy Bysse Shelley to Shel Silverstein? PUT THIS BOOK DOWN AND NEVER COME BACK. You're not doing yourself any favors.
Hannah Givens
This book is Walter Hooper’s collection of various C.S. Lewis poems written throughout his life. The poetry here is so much better than the poetry in Dymer! Maybe because Lewis never intended most of them to be published, they have a beautifully relaxed quality. They seem like poems that naturally popped into his head, rather than words he strained to generate. (Of course, that also means some of them feel slightly unfinished). They have a splendid variety of forms, styles, and subjects. As with ...more
J. Alfred
Since I read some of Lewis's early poems, I've been saying that he's an indifferent poet at best, probably because it's nice to be able to feel a little bit patronizing even to those we admire intensely. It turns out that Lewis, who published a considerable bit of short pieces during his life under a pseudonym, is up there with the best of the also-rans of the last century (think of guys like Delmore Schwartz and John Ciardi)-- he's not on a level with the great ones, but there are certainly lin ...more
Robin
My favorite poems, in order of best first, were "The Dragon Speaks," then "The Prudent Jailor." I also liked "The Magician and the Dryad," and many more. Apparently, this collection includes poems from different points in Lewis' spiritual development, and it wasn't always clear when in his life he wrote each one. I found his other dragon poem, the one about eating the dragon's hot, living heart, disturbing, especially in the context of the book it was included in, Pilgrim's Regress. I liked "The ...more
Prudence
I never knew Lewis beyond his most famous works (e.g., Narnia Collection, Screwtape Letters). I happened to find this collection of poems at a used book store and was thrilled to learn he wrote poetry as well. I loved this collection.
Teri
CS Lewis, it seems, was better at appreciating poetry than writing it, but given his skills this is no insult. There are some gems in this book.

What I found most enjoyable was the insight into the mind and experience of Lewis. As poetry should, these little morsels reveal intimate details of how Lewis understood life - from the faerie world and literature of the Ancients to his own memories and fears.

I will be savoring it for a while.
Courtney
It took me 4 months to read this book.

Lewis uses a lot of Old English phrases that I'm not that familiar with and makes a lot of references to Greek mythology that I am also not that familiar with.

I might just need to stick with Dorthy Parker "Once, when I was young and true, Someone left me sad- Broke my brittle heart in two; And that is very bad."
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Alex Stroshine
This is a collection of C.S. Lewis' poems. I enjoyed made of these pieces. Themes include the loss of friendship and love through death, God, and how we, as humans, have been given some glories that angels cannot know.
Tom
I love anything Lewis, but it was harder to appreciate the range of poems that he has written. I loved some, and barely understood or appreciated others. I'll come back to them for a second read after I get through more of his letters, which may shed additional light on what he was thinking at the time.
L.F.
A beautiful glimpse into the inner-workings of the mind of a brilliant man.
Lewis writes about philosophy, religion & mythology, unicorns, dragons & space, love, time & reason.
His boundless imagination is the gilded strand that captivates & bewitches readers.
Zack Mollhagen
While I'm one of the largest C.S. Lewis advocates you will ever meet, even I have to admit his poesy leaves something to be desired. He wasn't the greatest poet, but, you an tell he had fun writing it.
Ungelic_is_us
While the poems do provide some interesting insight into Lewis' psyche, the are...well, there's no better way to put it than tragically awful. Poetry was not the man's strong suit. At all.
Sarah
Objectively, Lewis is not the greatest of poets. Nevertheless, I enjoyed these immensely, and occasionally his poesy shows fleeting glimpses of incredible beauty and poignancy.
Molly Miltenberger Murray
These are not known well-enough or loved well enough. These are the poetry of "The Great Divorce" - the images are so concrete that you can walk on them.
Lindsay
Mar 17, 2008 Lindsay rated it 1 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: C.S. Lewis fans
Shelves: poetry
This anthology was too preachy for me, but probably great for lovers of The Screwtape Letters and adult fans of the Chronicles of Narnia.
Shala
His work goes all over the place but mostly I love the magical feelings he imparts in his poems
Daniel
these poems may be great, but i can't tell. i really only enjoyed the last 1/4
Sharon
Feb 25, 2014 Sharon added it
I will always be reading this book. Because it is that good.
Robert Davis
Older works that give keen insight into the early mind of C.S. Lewis.
Leslie Godwin
Aug 09, 2012 Leslie Godwin marked it as to-read
Interested especially in 5 sonnets mentioned in A Severe Mercy.
Sagar Jethani
There is a reason nobody talks about C.S. Lewis, the poet.
Debbie
I did not enjoy the poetry as much as his novels.
Amy
I love CS Lewis, but his poetry? Meh.
Michael Brown
I like his other stuff better
Douglas Wilson
Really good.
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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
More about C.S. Lewis...
The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe (Chronicles of Narnia, #1) The Chronicles of Narnia (Chronicles of Narnia, #1-7) The Voyage of the Dawn Treader (Chronicles of Narnia, #3) The Magician's Nephew (Chronicles of Narnia, #6) Prince Caspian (Chronicles of Narnia, #2)

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“All this is flashy rhetoric about loving you.
I never had a selfless thought since I was born.
I am mercenary and self-seeking through and through:
I want God, you, all friends, merely to serve my turn.

Peace, re-assurance, pleasure, are the goals I seek,
I cannot crawl one inch outside my proper skin:
I talk of love --a scholar's parrot may talk Greek--
But, self-imprisoned, always end where I begin.

Only that now you have taught me (but how late) my lack.
I see the chasm. And everything you are was making
My heart into a bridge by which I might get back
From exile, and grow man. And now the bridge is breaking.

For this I bless you as the ruin falls. The pains
You give me are more precious than all other gains.”
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“All things (e.g. a camel's journey through
A needle's eye) are possible, it's true.
But picture how the camel feels, squeezed out
In one long bloody thread, from tail to snout.”
4 likes
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