Wordsworth wrote an endless poem in blank verse on” the growth of a poet’s mind.” I shall attempt a more modest feat for a more distracted age: a blog, “Things which a Lifetime of Trying to Be a Poet has Taught Me.”
Sehnsucht, a German word for “longing,” was the technical term C. S. Lewis used for “Joy,” the unfulfilled desire evoked by literature, music, or nature that was better than any other having, and which he interpreted as a signpost pointing to the fact that we were made for God. It comes out of the blue when a glimpse of a higher beauty comes through to you with the shocking realization that we were made for something that this world can hint at but cannot give us. Has it ever hit you out of the blue? This is an attempt to record one of the times it hit me.
When the fog obscures the outlines of the trees
But breaks to show the sharpness of the stars
And the blood feels sudden chill, although the breeze
Is warm, and all the old internal scars
From stabbing beauty start to ache anew;
When mushrooms gather in a fairy ring
And every twig and grass-blade drips with dew
And then a whippoorwill begins to sing;
When all the world beside is hushed, awaiting
The sun as if it were his first arising
And you discover that, anticipating,
You’ve held your breath and find the fact surprising:
Then all the old internal wounds awake.
The pain is sweet we bear for beauty’s sake.
Remember: for more poetry like this, go to https://lanternhollow.wordpress.com/store/ and order Stars Through the Clouds! Also look for Inklings of Reality and Reflections from Plato’s Cave, Williams’ newest books from Lantern Hollow Press: Evangelical essays in pursuit of Truth, Goodness, and Beauty. And look for Williams’ very latest books: Deeper Magic: The Theology behind the Writings of C. S. Lewis (Baltimore: Square Halo Books, 2016) and “An Encouraging Thought”: The Christian Worldview in the Writings of L. R. R. Tolkien (Cambridge, OH: Christian Publishing House, 2018)! Order from the publisher or Amazon.