Poetry, VOLUME 12

Charles Williams – Five Excellent Poems !

Today (Sept. 20) is the birthday of the Inkling Charles Williams, born 1886…

Although Charles Williams is perhaps best known as a novelist and Inkling (along with C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien, and others), he was also a poet who published several collections of poems …

We honor the birthday of Charles Williams with five excellent poems by him…

*** These poems were published in
Charles William’s 1917 book
Poems of Conformity
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Sonnet VII
Charles Williams

When Absence, as beneath the moon a cloud,
Love o’er all reach of circumstance distils,
Devotion’s convent-walls to thee seem vowed,
And steep toward thee the pass of labour’s hills :
Upon all friendship thou who art no friend,
Or art by but an accident of grace.
Dost indirectly thy great worth expend.
And hold’st the least acquaintancy in place.
All friendliness hath reason for its cause
As born of honour, custom, or delight;
But thou, unreasonably the fount of laws,
To thine own harm dost lesser loves incite.
Such strength springs in them from thy love — O rare !
That with thyself they vie and would compare.

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IMAGE CREDIT: Detail from the cover of Charles Williams: The Third Inkling by Grevel Lindop. [ Buy Now ]

C. Christopher Smith is the founding editor of The Englewood Review of Books. He is also author of a number of books, including most recently How the Body of Christ Talks: Recovering the Practice of Conversation in the Church (Brazos Press, 2019). Connect with him online at: C-Christopher-Smith.com

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