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Spirits In Bondage

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Overview

So piteously the lonely soul of man
Shudders before this universal plan,
So grievous is the burden and the pain,
So heavy weighs the long, material chain
From cause to cause, too merciless for hate,
The nightmare march of unrelenting fate,
-from "Dungeon Grates"

C. S. ...

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Spirits In Bondage: A Cycle of Lyrics

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Overview

So piteously the lonely soul of man
Shudders before this universal plan,
So grievous is the burden and the pain,
So heavy weighs the long, material chain
From cause to cause, too merciless for hate,
The nightmare march of unrelenting fate,
-from "Dungeon Grates"

C. S. Lewis is a profound and perhaps the most respected Christian apologist because his belief was so hard-won. This collection of verse, written immediately after he returned from the battlefields of World War I in 1919, offers penetrating insight into the psyche of a young man struggling with traumatic wartime experiences and the crisis of faith they engendered.

By turns angry, bitter, and melancholy, these poems constitute a provocative document of Lewis's journey from atheism through agnosticism and on to conviction.

Irish writer CLIVE STAPLES ("JACK") LEWIS (1898-1963) was born in Belfast. A volunteer in the British Army during World War I, he served in the trenches of France, and returned to study and teach at Oxford University; he later accepted a post at Cambridge University, retiring only months before his death. His best-known works are The Chronicles of Narnia (1950-1956), Mere Christianity (1952), and his autobiography, Surprised by Joy (1955).

C. S. Lewis, one of literature's finest storytellers, began as a poet and selected St. Peter's First Epistle as the subject of his first book of poetry. Since this book's themes aren't particularly spiritual, it's surprising that he went to the New Testament for his title. He later wrote the Narnia chronicles that won the hearts of children but continued as the author of commanding yet controversial works of modern Christianity. Poetry was his first love and from this came his powerful contributions to the moralistic philosophies.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781596053724
  • Publisher: Cosimo
  • Publication date: 11/1/2005
  • Pages: 88
  • Product dimensions: 5.00 (w) x 8.00 (h) x 0.21 (d)

Meet the Author

C. S. Lewis
C. S. Lewis was famous both as a fiction writer and as a Christian thinker, and scholars sometimes divide his personality in two. Yet a large part of Lewis's appeal, for both his audiences, lay in his ability to fuse imagination with instruction. "Let the pictures tell you their own moral," he once advised writers of children's stories. "But if they don't show you any moral, don't put one in."

Biography

C. S. Lewis was famous both as a fiction writer and as a Christian thinker, and his biographers and critics sometimes divide his personality in two: the storyteller and the moral educator, the "dreamer" and the "mentor." Yet a large part of Lewis's appeal, for both his audiences, lay in his ability to fuse imagination with instruction. "Let the pictures tell you their own moral," he once advised writers of children's stories. "But if they don't show you any moral, don't put one in. ... The only moral that is of any value is that which arises inevitably from the whole cast of the author's mind."

Storytelling came naturally to Lewis, who spent the rainy days of his childhood in Ireland writing about an imaginary world he called Boxen. His first published novel, Out of the Silent Planet, tells the story of a journey to Mars; its hero was loosely modeled on his friend and fellow Cambridge scholar J.R.R. Tolkien. Lewis enjoyed some popularity for his Space Trilogy (which continues in Perelandra and That Hideous Strength), but nothing compared to that which greeted his next imaginative journey, to an invented world of fauns, dwarfs, and talking animals -- a world now familiar to millions of readers as Narnia.

The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, the first book of the seven-volume Chronicles of Narnia, began as "a picture of a Faun carrying an umbrella and parcels in a snowy wood," according to Lewis. Years after that image first formed in his mind, others bubbled up to join it, producing what Kate Jackson, writing in Salon, called "a fascinating attempt to compress an almost druidic reverence for wild nature, Arthurian romance, Germanic folklore, the courtly poetry of Renaissance England and the fantastic beasts of Greek and Norse mythology into an entirely reimagined version of what's tritely called 'the greatest story ever told.'"

The Chronicles of Narnia was for decades the world's bestselling fantasy series for children. Although it was eventually superseded by Harry Potter, the series still holds a firm place in children's literature and the culture at large. (Narnia even crops up as a motif in Jonathan Franzen's 2001 novel The Corrections). Its last volume appeared in 1955; in that same year, Lewis published a personal account of his religious conversion in Surprised by Joy. The autobiography joined his other nonfiction books, including Mere Christianity, The Screwtape Letters, and The Great Divorce, as an exploration of faith, joy and the meaning of human existence.

Lewis's final work of fiction, Till We Have Faces, came out in 1956. Its chilly critical reception and poor early sales disappointed Lewis, but the book's reputation has slowly grown; Lionel Adey called it the "wisest and best" of Lewis's stories for adults. Lewis continued to write about Christianity, as well as literature and literary criticism, for several more years. After his death in 1963, The New Yorker opined, "If wit and wisdom, style and scholarship are requisites to passage through the pearly gates, Mr. Lewis will be among the angels."

Good To Know

The imposing wardrobe Lewis and his brother played in as children is now in Wheaton, Illinois, at the Wade Center of Wheaton College, which also houses the world's largest collection of Lewis-related documents, according to The Christian Science Monitor.

The 1994 movie, Shadowlands, based on the play of the same name, cast Anthony Hopkins as Lewis. It tells the story of his friendship with, and then marriage to, an American divorcee named Joy Davidman (played by Debra Winger), who died of cancer four years after their marriage. Lewis's own book about coping with that loss, A Grief Observed, was initially published under the pseudonym N. W. Clerk.

Several poems, stories, and a novel fragment published after Lewis's death have come under scrutiny as possible forgeries. On one side of the controversy is Walter Hooper, a trustee of Lewis's estate and editor of most of his posthumous works; on the other is Kathryn Lindskoog, a Lewis scholar who began publicizing her suspicions in 1988. Scandal or kooky conspiracy theory? The verdict's still out among readers.

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    1. Also Known As:
      Clive Staples Lewis (real name); Clive Hamilton, N.W. Clerk, Nat Whilk; called "Jack" by his friends
    1. Date of Birth:
      November 29, 1898
    2. Place of Birth:
      Belfast, Nothern Ireland
    1. Date of Death:
      November 22, 1963
    2. Place of Death:
      Headington, England

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 12 )
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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 26, 2012

    It's alright....

    It has some good poetry in it...but I don't think I'll be reading it again anytime soon.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 26, 2013

    Good book











    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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