C.S. Lewis enjoyed both stories and poetry. His narrative poems combine his gift in story-telling with his skills as a poet. The four pieces in this book are the only narrative poems by Lewis known to be in existence.
The poems are full of Lewis’s romantic imagination; they display his love and knowlege of classic mythology and his own mastery of the English language.
• Launcelot (?early 1930s)
• The Nameless Isle (1930)
• The Queen of Drum (1938)
‘Dymer’ was begun by Lewis as a story in prose and the original idea had ‘come to him’ at the age of 17. It tells the story of a man who begets a monster. The monster kills his father and becomes a god.
‘Launcelot’ is based on the legend of King Arthur and the Holy Grail and ‘The Nameless Isle’ is the story of a shipwrecked mariner and his adventures on a magic island.
‘The Queen of Drum’ tells of an old pompous king and his young queen who eventually has to choose between heaven, hell and fairyland.
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You stranger, long before your glance can light
Upon these words, time will have washed away
The moment when I first took pen to write . . .
An essayist, novelist, and poet, C.S. Lewis combines all of his talents in Narrative Poems. Even when composing his prose works, such as his autobiography Surprised by Joy, Lewis wrote his first drafts in verse, so highly did he think of the narrative poem. Collected here are the four completed poems by Lewis: Dymer, Launcelot, The Nameless Isle, and The Queen of Drum. Though only Dymer was published in his lifetime, these poems display Lewis s deep love for medieval and Renaissance poetry and themes, the influence of which can be seen throughout his fiction.
"If the mode of the fantastic, of elves, hags, castles, and 'damosels clothed in bright pale airy clothes' is . . . for you, then come on in." The Christian Science Monitor
C.S. Lewis (1898-1963) is one of the greatest English writers of the 20th century. His works of fiction and popular theology are still celebrated today. The biographical film ‘Shadowlands’ has introduced his writings to a wider readership.
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