Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Poems” as Want to Read:
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview


3.76  ·  Rating details ·  574 Ratings  ·  48 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 a
Paperback, 168 pages
Published November 4th 2002 by Mariner Books (first published January 1st 1964)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Poems, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Poems

Community Reviews

(showing 1-10)
Rating details
Sort: Default
Douglas Wilson
Feb 13, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry
Read again for the fourth time, and finished in February of 2017.
Nick Gibson
Aug 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This is the C.S. Lewis you don't know if you stop at Narnia and Mere Christianity.

This is Lewis the classicist, injured in love, wrestling with lust, mourning a loved one, dreaming of that Island from Pilgrim's Regress, telling mysterious fairy tales, fearing Satan (overmuch), captivated by Christ's beauty, pursuing virtue, carrying the torch of the Romantics, defending antiquarianism, and so on.

Rich and worthy of another read. Like his other books, the pages seem to contain his personality. Clo
Jan 31, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: c-s-lewis, poetry
I love the quote that introduces this book in the Goodreads description:
"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

I am not (typically) a big fan of poetry. Any poetry. I can't write it and I usually don't appreciate reading it.
But C.S. Lewis is different. I love his poetry. While some of these poems are totally over my head,
Sep 24, 2014 rated it did not like it
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.
Nov 06, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: christianity, poetry
This is quite a mixed bag. Some of the poems are very good. Many of the others were collected by Lewis' secretary, Walter Hooper, and published after Lewis' death. They show clearly that poetry was a hobby for Lewis and not one of his strengths. This does not in any way devaluate his many other contributions to literature.

Worth wading through for the occasional gold nuggets.
Jake McAtee
Aug 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I came to this book skeptical and left pretty humbled. These are fantastic.

A few favorites:
- A confession
- The Adam Unparadised
- The Turn of the Tide
- Forbidden Pleasure
- Evensong
Mia Parviainen
Oct 06, 2016 rated it really liked it
I don't often gravitate towards reading poetry. I picked up this particular book because I've read quite a few books by CS Lewis, saw this in a used bookstore, and decided to give it a whirl. I have mixed feelings about the book, partly due to the style and partly due to the format.

Walter Hooper curated this collection, dividing the poems up thematically into five sections: The Hidden Country, The Backward Glance, A Larger World, Further Up & Further In, and A Farewell to Shadow-Lands. Hoop
Josh Bauder
Jan 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing
These are the themes of Lewis's poems, compiled here by the ever-judicious Walter Hooper: Planets. Classical mythology. Desire for the numinous Island. Nature. Creature comforts. Cancerous modernism. Prayer.

Mythology and Desire

The first third of the compilation is overwhelmingly devoted to classical subjects, especially the planets and the gods they symbolize. Why such an emphasis? Because, to Lewis, "mythology was valuable not because monsters and fairies are literally true, but because they ar
Mar 08, 2011 rated it it was amazing
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
Marguerite Harrell
May 28, 2012 rated it liked it
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
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • The Ballad of the White Horse
  • Lenten Lands: My Childhood with Joy Davidman and C.S. Lewis
  • Christian Mythmakers: C.S. Lewis, Madeleine L'Engle, J.R.R. Tolkien, George MacDonald, G.K. Chesterton, Charles Williams, Dante Alighieri, John Bunyan, Walter Wangerin, Robert Siegel, and Hannah Hurnard
  • The Man Born to Be King: A Play-Cycle on the Life of Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ
  • The Chronicles of Narnia: The Silver Chair Literature Unit Study C S Lewis Narnia
  • Planet Narnia: The Seven Heavens in the Imagination of C.S. Lewis
  • From the Library of C. S. Lewis: Selections from Writers Who Influenced His Spiritual Journey (Writers' Palette Book)
  • The Quotable Lewis
  • Through the Shadowlands: The Love Story of C. S. Lewis and Joy Davidman
  • The Mezentian Gate
  • Not a Tame Lion: The Spiritual Legacy of C.S. Lewis
  • The Narnian: The Life and Imagination of C.S. Lewis
  • All Hallows' Eve
  • Jack: A Life of C. S. Lewis
  • Tolkien and C.S. Lewis: The Gift of a Friendship
  • The Complete Fairy Tales
  • The Inklings: C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkien, Charles Williams, and Their Friends
  • Inside Narnia: A Guide to Exploring The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe
Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the Goodreads database with this name.

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
More about C.S. Lewis...
“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.”
“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.”
More quotes…