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C. S. Lewis, Poet

The Legacy of His Poetic Impulse

Literature & Literary Criticism, Tolkien, Lewis, and Inkling Studies

DescriptionC. S. Lewis is best known as the creator of the fanciful world of Narnia and as a masterful writer of literary criticism and Christian apologetics.  But he began his literary career as a poet, under the pseudonym of Clive Hamilton, and only later did he turn to prose writing and find fame.

In C. S. Lewis, Poet: The Legacy of His Poetic Impulse Don W. King contends that Lewis’s poetic aspirations enhanced his prose and helped make him the master stylist so revered by the literary world.  With its careful examination of early diaries and letters, and the inclusion of four of Lewis’s previously unpublished narrative poems and eleven of his previously unpublished short poems, this important book explains the man through his writing and considers how Lewis’s lifelong devotion to poetry is best realized in his works of prose.  Readers and admirers of Lewis will certainly find their understanding of his writing greatly enhanced by this perceptive book.

AuthorDon W. King is professor of English at Montreat College in North Carolina. On multiple occasions he has led Lewis seminars at the Kilns—C. S. Lewis’s home in Oxford—and has authored C. S. Lewis: Poet: The Legacy of His Poetic Impulse (The Kent State University Press, 2001) and Plain to the Inward Eye: Selected Essays on C. S. Lewis. He has also written extensively on the important women in Lewis’s life, including Hunting the Unicorn: A Critical Biography of Ruth Pitter (The Kent State University Press, 2008) and Out of My Bone: The Letters of Joy Davidman. Most recently he edited The Collected Poems of C. S. Lewis, A Critical Edition (The Kent State University Press, 2014).