Friday, July 06, 2007

A Little Poetry for You: Davidman

It's Poetry Friday! Get your round-up over at Farm School.

Lately I've been thinking about C. S. Lewis and Joy Davidman (Gresham), and their story as told in the movie Shadowlands and the book A Grief Observed. I don't know why these things pop into my head, but once they do, it's best to just let them out.

So here's a poem from Joy Davidman, which was actually used in the movie Shadowlands.
Snow in Madrid
by Joy Davidman

Softly, so casual,
Lovely, so light, so light,
The cruel sky lets fall
Something one does not fight.
How tenderly to crown
The brutal year
The clouds send something down
That one need not fear.
Men before perishing
See with unwounded eye
For once a gentle thing
Fall from the sky.

Go here for a brief write-up about the life of Joy Davidman. She was known to many of the public as that Jewish, atheist, Christian, communist, divorcee, American poet and novelist who married C. S. Lewis. She was known to Lewis himself as:
my daughter and my mother, my pupil and my teacher, my subject and my sovereign; and always, holding all these in solution, my trusty comrade, friend, shipmate, fellow-soldier.

I do recommend reading "A Grief Observed" if you've got plenty of kleenex handy and want to know more about Lewis and Davidman.


John Mutford said...

I haven't heard of Shadowlands or Joy Davidman. Sometimes the rock I'm living under gets awfully heavy.

Thanks for lifting it up.

jules said...

I love A Grief Observed and "Shadowlands," too.

Great post!

Michele said...

I read A Grief Observed years ago (when I was in my "Christian phase" and read masses of Lewis' non-Narnia books) - and yes, it made me cry. I love Shadowlands for Anthony Hopkins and nothing else - largely because it's too Hollywood-ised a version of the story (why the heck is Joy about 20 years younger than Lewis in the film ?!)

Do you know, I live *literally* just down the road from one of Joy Davidman's former homes (it's got a blue plaque on it and everything) ? Mind you, I live not that far from Lewis' home at The Kilns, and Tolkien's home in Sandfield Road... And yes, I am awed when I think about it - I just don't think of it too often !

Nancy said...

Michele, thanks for your comment.

From what I read in the bio info on Joy Davidman, I think she was about 20 years younger than Lewis.

Nancy said...


No problem. I'm under a similar rock, just down the path....

Anonymous said...

Thank you! I'm watching "Shadowlands" just now and I felt that I needed to stop and read the poem. What always surprises me in good poems is that they're so simple. "The cruel sky lets fall something one does not fight". So simple and so touching.

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