Critical Analysis of C.S Lewis Poetry

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Molly McGregor
Creative Writing - Poetry
October 2nd 2012

Critical Analysis of “As the Ruin Falls” by C.S. Lewis

Many of C.S. Lewis’ poems have spoken to me on a deep level over the last few years, this one in particular holds the most meaning for me and has impacted my life in multiple ways. In this paper, I will first discuss why I believe this piece to be about the regret Lewis felt in regard to the negative effect his selfishness had upon a relationship that he was a part of and how this relationship was with a woman he cared for deeply and romantically. I will then discuss how it has affected me on an emotional level and applies to my life personally as a follower of Christ.

This poem is written in the sonnet form consisting of fourteen lines total, the first three stanza’s have four lines each and rhymes every other line while the last stanza only two lines rhyming perfectly together. The style alone impresses me since I have tried to write sonnets before and found it to be too difficult to follow the strict structural guidelines (although I do aim to master a sonnet of my own one day, maybe even in this class!). Interestingly enough upon my first exposure to this poem, I thought it was written from the eyes of a sinful, selfish man sorrowfully thanking God for teaching him through inner reflection and difficulty in life how to love more perfectly. Upon further inspection of the content though I noticed that in the last line of the first stanza, his wording of “I want God, you, all friends, merely to serve my turn” led me to the realization that by his use of “you” after the listing of “God” he was speaking directly to another person and not to his creator. After coming to that conclusion, I then wondered what sort of person he was writing to and his relation with them. Since he mentioned “all friends” this poem could possibly be in regard to a close friendship, but the tone of the whole piece speaks more of a romantic love to me...
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