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What The Bird Said Early In The Year

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I heard in Addison’s Walk a bird sing clear:
This year the summer will come true. This year. This year.
This year time’s nature will no more defeat you.
Nor all the promised moments in their passing cheat you.
This time they will not lead you round and back
To Autumn, one year older, by the well worn track.

- C.S. Lewis, What the Bird Said Early in the Year

More than an intellectual ode to spring, CS Lewis’s poem contrasts the temporal with the eternal.  Addison’s Walk is a mile long path through the grounds at Magdalen College, Oxford, where Lewis had a midnight conversation with friends, J.R.R. Tolkien and Hugo Dyson. A plaque with the entire poem stands as a monument on the property. This conversation centered on the truth of Christianity (Christianity as the true myth) and was instrumental in Lewis’ conversion.

As Christians, it is important that we distinguish the temporal from the eternal.  Our earthly bodies decay and break down, and we eventually lose our race with time. In eternity, in the presence of the Lord, time and nature lose their grip. All our unfulfilled “promised moments” that left us disappointed will be forgotten and swallowed up in the singular splendor of the Lord’s glory.

Joseph A. Kohm

Joseph A. Kohm, C.S. Lewis Institute Vice President for Development and City Director for Virginia Beach. Joe is an attorney and formerly worked as a Certified Major League Baseball Player Agent. He earned his Master’s in Management Science from the State University of New York at Oswego and both his J.D. and M.Div. from Regent University. Joe is the author of The Unknown Garden of Another’s Heart: The Surprising Friendship between C.S. Lewis and Arthur Greeves (Wipf and Stock, 2022.)


COPYRIGHT: This publication is published by C.S. Lewis Institute; 8001 Braddock Road, Suite 301; Springfield, VA 22151. Portions of the publication may be reproduced for noncommercial, local church or ministry use without prior permission. Electronic copies of the PDF files may be duplicated and transmitted via e-mail for personal and church use. Articles may not be modified without prior written permission of the Institute. For questions, contact the Institute: 703.914.5602 or email us.

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