“What the Bird Said Early in the Year,” by C.S. Lewis (Advent 2020, Week 4)

This post is a continuation of my four-week series on Advent and Hope poetry.  An introduction (and brief rambling) may be read here.  The other posts in this series may be found below.

Week 1: The Coming, by R.S. Thomas
Week 2: “The world is stopp’d,” by Nicole K.
Week 3: O Come, O Come, Emmanuel, translated by John M. Neale & Henry S. Coffin

“What the Bird Said Early in the Year”
C.S. Lewis

I heard in Addison’s Walk a bird sing clear:
This year the summer will come true.  This year.  This year.

Winds will not strip the blossom from the apple trees
This year, nor want of rain destroy the peas.

This year time’s nature will no more defeat you,
Nor all the promised moments in their passing cheat you.

This time they will not lead you round and back
To Autumn, one year older by the well-worn track.

This year, this year, as all these flowers foretell,
We shall escape the circle and undo the spell.

Often deceived, yet open once again your heart,
Quick, quick, quick, quick! — the gates are drawn apart.

C.S. Lewis wrote this poem during the days when he, J.R.R. Tolkien, and Hugo Dyson were in the midst of their long conversations concerning Christianity and “true myth.”  “What the Bird Said Early in the Year” (like “The world is stopp’d”) was not written specifically for Advent, but the content has much to do with Hope and is thus very pertinent to Advent.

With that, we conclude this series on Advent poetry.  A merry Christmas to you, my friends!  May joy and quietness, warmth and light be yours.

The Yuletide Sale at Aval House ends this evening. If you wish to shop for last-minute Yuletide-ness, do so now by clicking here.

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