C.S. Lewis and his circle : essays and memoirs from the by Lewis, Clive Staples; Lewis, Clive S.; White, Roger; Wolfe,

By Lewis, Clive Staples; Lewis, Clive S.; White, Roger; Wolfe, Brendan N.; Wolfe, Judith Elisabeth

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And where do they come from? Judging by the way that poets talk about the genesis of poems, they don’t arise from the same regions, or activities, of the mind as discursive prose. ) Here, for example, is C. H. Sisson, discussing how he actually writes a poem: All my poems are in a sense determined by the rhythm of the first line, which comes unasked and often when one is least expecting it. It is commonly followed by other lines, whether by one or two or by a whole poem. I am very relaxed about this.

20. , 17–18. 21. , 21. 22. , 20. 23. , 21. 24. , 21. 25. , 21. 26. , 21. 27. , 18. 28. , 19. 29. , 19. 30. , 27–28. 3 C. S. ’, and, almost as naturally as they’d consult certain people they know, they consult books. ’. Yet there are many indications that this is an error. First, there is the evidence of experience. Universities are full of clever people, yet the public consensus is that, far from being well-qualified to discern and communicate the true nature of what might, for a particular person, constitute a good life, academics are very unreliable mentors in the arts of living.

L e w is a nd his c irc l e we consider the purposes for which we might use it. In view of the difficulty, it seems reasonable—provided we are genuinely trying to focus on the philosophical issue—to reformulate the question slightly so as to provide some relief from the sensation of blankness, without merely providing escape. So we might ask, instead, what does it mean to be fully alive? Obviously this is more than a biological question, to which the answer is ‘not dead, but capable of motion and thought’; and equally, though less obviously, it is a moral question, since the answer ‘enjoying oneself at endless parties’ seems both unsatisfactory (since endless parties wouldn’t be fun) and slightly wrong (since the pursuit of fun seems too trivial a purpose to concern ourselves with exclusively).

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