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Yeats has a short poem, sort of an epigram I guess, that's somewhat related:


Lovely poem, Janet.

I think this is the first poem by C.S. Lewis that I've ever read.

Well, you will probably read another one in a few weeks.


Me too - a couple of years ago I was surprised to read that Lewis was a poet, and I never did get round to hunting any of them down.

In the 1920s his plan was to be a poet. Then he got religion.

A poet was what Lewis wanted to be. He wrote a long narrative poem in his late 20s called Dymer. You can download it here

He disliked the poetry of Eliot and his like and with some friends wrote parodies of modern poems and submitted them to The Criterion under the names of Rollo and Bridget Considine. Nothing ever came of it.


Cross-posted. He continued to write and publish poetry into the 50s.


The first few lines of the first poem in the collection of his poetry that I have are a dig at Eliot, which is a little off-putting to an Eliot fan. I've had the book since 1980 or so but I'm sure I've never read every poem in it. He's not my favorite poet but there are several poems in this book that have stuck with me for many years. Including one rather grossly striking one involving rocket as penis.

I must not have read them all.


He did like Eliot himself and agreed with his ideas. He just didn't like that style of poetry.


As I recall, subject to correction after so many years, he was somewhat hostile to Eliot from a distance, as poet and maybe as critic. But I don't think they'd met at the time. Later on they did and Lewis said to someone else "He's one of us."

The poem is "Prelude to Space". The collection I have is just called Poems, and it's edited by Walter Hooper. I think it's supposed to be all his shorter poems (i.e. not Dymer) but I'm not sure.

Yes, I just found it. No, I have never read that before. There us a list of previously published poems in the back of the book and that one is not among them.
Who knows where Hooper found some of these.


Are you looking at the same book? Mine has that appendix, too. Hooper made the decision as to what to include and seems to have opted for pretty much everything. Seems at least possible that Lewis didn't mean for it to be published.

Yes, I am. This has to have been written pretty late in his life. The space race didn't begin until the late 50s. Of course, it's pretty much the same sentiment you see in the Space Trilogy.


It could have been somewhat earlier, as the basic idea had been used in science fiction at least since the '40s. But the poem does sort of sound like it's describing something actually happening or about to happen.

That's what I was thinking.


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