Monday, 29 August 2005

A poem by C. S. Lewis

C. S. Lewis was one of the finest prose-writers of the twentieth century—which writer wouldn’t give an arm and a leg to be able to write like that? On the other hand, Lewis was never much of a poet (and he was well aware of this, although he continued to write poetry from time to time). But I have always liked one of his poems: the beautiful epitaph on the headstone of his deceased wife’s grave.

Here the whole world
(stars, water, air,
And field, and forest, as they were
Reflected in a single mind)
Like cast off clothes was left behind
In ashes, yet with hopes that she,
Re-born from holy poverty,
In lenten lands, hereafter may
Resume them on her Easter Day.

—from C. S. Lewis, Poems (1992)

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