Though known most of all for his Narnia and Cosmic Trilogy works of fiction, C.S. Lewis was also an avid writer of poetry, much of which apparently remained unpublished during his life. As I was browsing through his Poems collection, I came across one such piece of verse that I thought deserved to be shared on the site, as it is a rather insightful critique of many popular forms of science fiction.
Against too many writers of science fiction
Why did you lure us on like this,
Light-year on light-year, through the abyss,
Building (as though we cared for size!)
Empires that cover galaxies
If at the journey’s end we find
The same old stuff we left behind,
Well-worn Tellurian stories of
Crooks, spies, conspirators, or love,
Whose setting might as well have been
The Bronx, Montmartre, or Bethnal Green?
Why should I leave this green-floored cell,
Roofed with blue air, in which we dwell,
Unless, outside its guarded gates,
Long, long desired, the Unearthly waits
Strangeness that moves us more than fear,
Beauty that stabs with tingling spear,
Or Wonder, laying on one’s heart
That finger-tip at which we start
As if some thought too swift and shy
For reason’s grasp had just gone by?