Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Something I Didn't Know about C. S. Lewis

So, for purposes of a piece I'm working on I decided I needed a copy of C. S. Lewis's COLLECTED POEMS.* I already had the two Hooper volumes (POEMS, 1964, and NARRATIVE POEMS, 1969, as well as SPIRITS IN BONDAGE, 1919) but wanted this newer edition edited by Don King for its notes and more inclusive collection.

Looking over the volume now that I have it, it's striking how few poems Lewis wrote towards the end of his life. Here's a quick breakdown, starting in 1950.

1950: 3 poems
1951: 2 poems
   January 1951: Janie Moore dies
   February 1951: Lewis fails to become Professor of Poetry
1952: 4 or 5 poems**
1953: 2 poems
1954: 8 or 9 poems
   1954: Lewis switches from Oxford to Cambridge
1955: 1 or 2 poems
1956: 5 poems
   April 1956: Lewis marries Joy Gresham
1957: 1 poem
   March 1957: Lewis marries Joy Davidman
1958: 1 poem
1959: 1 poem
1960: 1 or 4 poems
   July 1960: Joy Lewis dies
1961: none
1962: none
1963: 1 or 2 poems

--John R
--current reading: OUR LADY OF DARKNESS by Fritz Leiber

*its full title being THE COLLECTED POEMS OF C. S. LEWIS: A CRITICAL EDITION, ed. Don W. King (2015), 485 pages.

**the second number in each of these 'or' entries includes one or more doubtfully dated poem(s).

1 comment:

ATMachine said...

I had to look up the circumstances of Lewis' two marriage ceremonies (first civil and then religious) to Joy Davidman/Gresham/Lewis. Probably those entries in the list could've been phrased a little more clearly, though admittedly I'm much less well read on the biography of CSL than with JRRT.