If you’ve been following along on the blog recently, you’ll know that I’ve been trying my best to keep up with the Writer’s Digest poem-a-day challenge for the month of November. I enjoy reading and writing poetry, and every now and then I even review books of poetry for you–in case you suddenly discover a love for verse yourself!
I had no idea until I saw this book on Amazon that Lewis ever wrote enough poetry to have it published in one volume. When I bought it, I was excited and ready to see how Lewis used poetry to get his message across.
Like anyone would expect, Lewis’ poetry is full of classical references and themes. There are a few poems here and there that briefly mention Narnia or Narnian elements, but for the most part Lewis sticks to mythology, religion, and other, more abstract topics. Lewis’ verse is also very traditional and somewhat old-fashioned. Some of the poems felt strained, as if he had to work really hard to make his language fit within the structure of the poem.
Many of the poems at the beginning of the book were somewhat stuffy and hard to understand. That being said, I did enjoy some of the poems–especially those close to the end of the book. They seemed more personal and relatable, and there were some really great epigrams and epitaphs, like this one:
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.
So if you’re in the market for some traditional, formal poetry, check out Lewis’ work. I think I learned from this book that I’ll stick to Lewis’ fiction and inspirational writings and be just fine.