CS Lewis, poet?

By Anthony Haynes

June 27, 2013


Category: Reading

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Last month I published a post on a talk, in Heffers bookshop, by Alister McGrath on CS Lewis. The day after that talk, I attended a reading of CS Lewis’s poetry. The event, featuring Lex Loizides and John Carson, was organised by Christian Heritage in Cambridge.

They were a good double act. Loizides introduced and narrated, Carson read. Loizides was informative and enthusiastic; Carson rich acting voice was perfectly suited to presenting Lewis’s poems in their best light.

It all made for an enjoyable evening.

What it didn’t do was leave me with any desire to read more of Lewis’s poetry. That, I think , is a comment on the poems rather than the event. When I’m mentoring writers in Cambridge, I sometimes use the phrase ‘inert writing’ to refer to writing in which there’s nothing particularly wrong – the text makes sense, the meaning is clear – but where there’s no life in the writing. No energy, no activity: dead on the page. Lewis’s poetry seems to me to fit that category well. 

Christian Heritage have organised some further CS Lewis events later in the year, including ‘CS Lewis: the broadcaster’ (28 Nov) with extracts from Lewis’s broadcasts. Expect more liveliness from Lewis there.


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