Clive Staples Lewis

(29 November 1898 – 22 November 1963 / Belfast)

In Prison

Poem by Clive Staples Lewis

I cried out for the pain of man,
I cried out for my bitter wrath
Against the hopeless life that ran
For ever in a circling path
From death to death since all began;
Till on a summer night
I lost my way in the pale starlight
And saw our planet, far and small,
Through endless depths of nothing fall
A lonely pin-prick spark of light,
Upon the wide, enfolding night,
With leagues on leagues of stars above it,
And powdered dust of stars below—
Dead things that neither hate nor love it
Not even their own loveliness can know,
Being but cosmic dust and dead.
And if some tears be shed,
Some evil God have power,
Some crown of sorrow sit
Upon a little world for a little hour—
Who shall remember? Who shall care for it?

Comments about In Prison by Clive Staples Lewis

  • Susan WilliamsSusan Williams (4/19/2016 3:31:00 PM)

    Oh. My. Word. I zipped up to look at his biography because his outlook was so bleak that I thought perhaps he was writing from prison. OH. MY. WORD. Look at his name again! ! ! ! It is C. S. LEWIS! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! The man usually writes novels, essays, works praising the Lord God! ! ! ! ! ! Wow, look at him go on this theme- - he has turned himself inside out to reflect the heart and soul of the lost. Stunning work without even knowing who wrote it! ! I was so into the persona of a prisoner without hope that I thought the author had to be a prisoner! Well, we all are or have been a prisoner to darkness and hopelessness and C.S. Lewis, a man of God, knows the feeling and that is why he can write us to joy! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !(Report)Reply

    Barry MiddletonBarry Middleton(4/19/2016 4:08:00 PM)

    The best thing about the poem is that it is provocative. Takes reading several times to see that it can be read two ways.

    11 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • James MclainJames Mclain (4/19/2016 1:38:00 PM)

    go on about God,
    so how did good men think
    they could conceptualize
    tomorrow.. iip(Report)Reply

    0 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • Alem Hailu G/kristosAlem Hailu G/kristos (4/19/2016 9:22:00 AM)

    I appreciate the effort took to put his reflection in a poem!(Report)Reply

    1 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • Barry MiddletonBarry Middleton (4/19/2016 8:44:00 AM)

    Meaninglessness and the insignificance of existence. Yet while we are alive, we must care. This is a very good poem but some will not like it because it seems atheistic.(Report)Reply

    Susan WilliamsSusan Williams(4/19/2016 3:58:00 PM)

    You are a good man, Charlie Brown, to let us find out on our own who he is! ! ! ! I was so tickled and surprised and stunned and delighted! . Sorry I blabbed who he is but in my defense I am usually the last person to post comments so I probably didn't ruin it for anyone.

    Barry MiddletonBarry Middleton(4/19/2016 11:39:00 AM)

    P.S. Lewis was totally not an atheist.

    3 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • Anil Kumar PandaAnil Kumar Panda (4/19/2016 7:26:00 AM)

    Nice.Anyhow the life has to go on despite the pain and suffering. Very nice.(Report)Reply

    0 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • Ratnakar Mandlik (4/19/2016 5:13:00 AM)

    I cried out for my bitter wrath
    Against the hopeless life that ran
    For ever in a circling path.
    Manifestations of depression controlling human are very wonderfully articulated in this touching poem. Thanks for sharing it here.(Report)Reply

    0 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • Edward Kofi LouisEdward Kofi Louis (4/19/2016 4:21:00 AM)

    For the pain of man! ! ! Facing the problems of life. Nice work. Thanks for sharing this poem with us.(Report)Reply

    0 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • Moira CameronMoira Cameron (4/19/2016 1:17:00 AM)

    This seems to offer a rather bleak view, as if the words were written out of a dark depression. The last four lines sound angry,(Report)Reply

    1 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
Read all 11 comments »

Read this poem in other languages

This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.

I would like to translate this poem »

word flags

What do you think this poem is about?

Poem Submitted: Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Poem Edited: Wednesday, March 21, 2012