Honestly who knew? I didn’t. I was doing some research for my Senior thesis on Tolkien, Lewis and their contribution to the fantastic genre via the Inklings circle and I stumbled across an entire book of poems by Lewis, published posthumously.
Looking through it, I found this awesome little wonder which is quite good. He basically is writing about how he is not like the great poets. Best of all, he harshes on T.S Eliot and Wordsworth a little.
Here it is:
A Confession, By C.S. Lewis
I am so coarse, the things the poets see
Are obstinately invisible to me.
For twenty years I’ve stared my level best
To see if evening–any evening–would suggest
A patient etherized upon a table;
In vain. I simply wasn’t able.
To me each evening looked far more
Like the departure from a silent, yet a crowded, shore
Of a ship whose freight was everything, leaving behind
Gracefully, finally, without farewells, marooned mankind.
Red dawn behind a hedgerow in the east
Never, for me, resembled in the least
A chilblain on a cocktail-shaker’s nose;
Waterfalls don’t remind me of torn underclothes,
Nor glaciers of tin-cans. I’ve never known
The moon look like a hump-backed crone–
Rather, a prodigy, even now
Not naturalized, a riddle glaring from the Cyclops’ brow
Of the cold world, reminding me on what a place
I crawl and cling, a planet with no bulwarks, out in space.
Never the white sun of the wintriest day
Struck me as un crachat d’estaminet.
I’m like that odd man Wordsworth knew, to whom
A primrose was a yellow primrose, one whose doom
Keeps him forever in the list of dunces,
Compelled to live on stock responses,
Making the poor best that I can
Of dull things…peacocks, honey, the Great Wall, Aldebaran
Silver weirs, new-cut grass, wave on the beach, hard gem,
The shapes of horse and woman, Athens, Troy, Jerusalem.
When finding a poem like this I can’t help but get ecstatic. So of course I had to read it at the Annual Poetry Bash at OU. It was fun times. The Poetry Bash is always great but I was a tad disappointed there were less people there this year. Maybe it was the wonderful weather. Which makes no sense because nice weather makes me want to read more poetry and literature. Anyways it was still a great time with the people awesome enough to show up.
So now I think this is going to be one of my favorite poems ever. Definitely going on the list along with Ballad of the White Horse, The Love Song of Alfred J. Prufrock, and The Eve of St. Agnes.