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Texas State’s Beebe discovers unknown, unpublished C.S. Lewis poem

Steven Beebe
Steven Beebe

Posted by Jayme Blaschke
Office of Media Relations
July 1, 2016

Steven Beebe, a Regents’ Professor and Distinguished Professor of Communication Studies at Texas State University, has discovered an unpublished and unknown poem authored by famed 20th century author C.S. Lewis.  

Beebe found the poem while conducting research this summer at Oxford University’s Bodleian Library. Handwritten on the back of one of Lewis’ manuscripts—and authenticated by Lewis scholar, author and handwriting expert Charlie Star—the poem comprises 16 lines that display Lewis’ clever use of language.  

“It’s almost like a ‘poem doodle’ in that, although short, it showcases Lewis’ skillful use of words and his sense of humor,” said Beebe. “Lewis seemed to be having a little fun dashing off a poem to take a break from his writing.”  

Since the poem is copyrighted by the Lewis literary estate, it cannot yet be published, but Beebe hopes to secure permission to include the poem in a forthcoming book he is completing about C.S. Lewis and communication.

The author of The Narnia Chronicles, The Screwtape Letters and Mere Christianity, Lewis was memorialized in Poet’s Corner of London’s Westminster Abbey in 2013 to commemorate the 50th anniversary of his death.

This is not Beebe’s first Lewis discovery. In 2009 he identified a fragment of a book chapter that Lewis wrote, in what was to have been a collaboration with J.R.R. Tolkien, author of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings. The planned co-authored book, to be titled Language and Human Nature, was long thought not to have existed, and was never completed. Beebe found the book fragment in Oxford’s Bodleian Library and published it in 2010.

For addition information, contact Steven Beebe at (512) 245-2165 or via email at sbeebe@txstate.edu.