Tuesday, January 25, 2005

God as Poet (according to C.S. Lewis)

I don't have leisure to write a real post today, but I did see something this morning that I thought I might share with my readers.

I am re-reading for the umpteenth time C.S. Lewis's book Reflections on the Psalms, which Janet Accetta-Evans gave to me back in 1980. And once again I'm remembering what a delight it can be to read Lewis, despite his occasional smugness and complacency and high-church theology. His main argument is usually pretty interesting in itself, but what makes his writing really fun is that each of the illustrations and metaphors he uses along the way is original and surprising and often counter-intuitive and highly memorable. His is the kind of writing that - if you were to underline the good parts - would be underlined from start to finish.

Anyway, the gem I saw this morning and decided to share with you all is this reflection on why it is that not only the Psalms but much of the rest of Scripture, including many of the words of Jesus, are in a poetic form:

It seems to be appropriate, almost inevitable, that when that great Imagination which in the beginning, for Its own delight and for the delight of men and angels and (in their proper mode) of beasts, had invented and formed the whole world of Nature, submitted to express Itself in human speech, that speech should sometimes be poetry. For poetry too is a little incarnation, giving body to what had been before invisible and inaudible.

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