Wordsworth wrote an endless poem in blank verse on” the growth of a poet’s mind.” I shall attempt a more modest feat for a more distracted age: a blog, “Things which a Lifetime of Trying to Be a Poet has Taught Me.”
It is now time for my senior year at Taylor University. At Taylor in those days we had a winterim session which in your junior year was devoted to a course called “Junior Practicum.” I got to serve mine working with Dr. C. S. Kilby in the then fledgling Wade Center for the study of the Inklings at Wheaton College in Illinois. Getting to know Kilby, then the dean of American Lewis scholars, was a great blessing. He was already advanced in years, and his elderly head with its bright eyes is still my personal picture of Bilbo in his declining years at Rivendell. We kept in touch, and this poem was the result.
TO CLYDE S. KILBY
I wandered through the silent trees
Of fair Loth Lorien;
At Cerin Amroth, saw the leaves
Blow o’er the tomb of Arwen.
I wandered north to Rivendell,
To Elrond’s homely halls,
And watched as evening shadows fell
On long deserted walls.
And West I turned, past hill and tree,
‘Till I stood by the shore.
But Cirdan was gone, and elves to the sea
Down Anduin sail no more.
And I have stood as tall as a king
On a hilltop windy and bare
And drunk the air of a Narnian spring
When no one else was there.
And I have seen Cair Paravel
And stood by Aslan’s Howe;
But where the king was none could tell,
For no one goes there now.
And homeward I my feet have turned,
But home I never came,
For in my soul a fire burned
And “home” was not the same.
And human eyes I seldom find
Who seem to understand
The longing of a pilgrim mind
For distant Faerie lands.
But when I find such eyes, I call
The man who owns them “friend.”
And together we wander in leafy halls
In fair Loth Lorien.
Remember: for more poetry like this, go to https://www.createspace.com/3562314 and order Stars Through the Clouds!
Donald T. Williams, PhD