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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.”

The conversion of C. S. Lewis is one of the strangest—and most instructive—conversion stories in the long and glorious history of Christian conversion.  It deserves a villanelle.

C. S. Lewis

SEHNSUCHT II

God knows no shame in what He will employ

To win a wandering sinner back again.

Thus, C. S. Lewis was surprised by joy.

A childish garden made to be a toy

Of moss and twigs upon a biscuit tin?

God knows no shame in what He will employ.

The silly garden helped him to enjoy

The real ones, made him want to enter in.

Thus, C. S. Lewis was surprised by joy.

Not Athens (first), Jerusalem, or Troy,

But Squirrel Nutkin’s granary and bin?

God knows no shame in what He will employ.

When Balder the beautiful was dead, destroyed,

The voice that cried it came into his ken;

Thus, C. S. Lewis was surprised by joy.

But pagan legend!  Could that be the ploy?

Somewhere the path to Heaven must begin.

God knows no shame in what He will employ;

Thus, C. S. Lewis was surprised by joy.

Remember: for more poetry like this, order Dr. Williams’s collected poetry, Stars through the Clouds, 2nd edition (Lantern Hollow Press, 2020) at https://smile.amazon.com/dp/173286800X?ref_=pe_3052080_397514860!  And look for Williams’ very latest books: Deeper Magic: The Theology behind the Writings of C. S. Lewis (Square Halo Books, 2016), An Encouraging Thought: The Christian Worldview in the Writings of L. R. R. Tolkien (Christian Publishing House, 2018), and The Young Christian’s Survival Guide: Common Questions Young Christians Are Asked about God, the Bible, and the Christian Faith Answered (Christian Publishing House, 2019)!  Order from the publisher or Amazon.

Donald T. Williams, PhD

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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.

C. S. Lewis, Theologian of Joy.

SEHNSUCHT

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.