Clive Staples Lewis was born in Belfast on November 29, 1898 and educated at a number of schools in England, including Malvern College. As an Irishman he was exempt from service in the First World War, but wanted to serve. As a prospective soldier the University of Oxford allowed him to matriculate on 20 March 1917 despite failing the algebra part of the examination. On 10 June he was drafted into an Officer’s Training Corps cadet battalion at Keble College and sent to France with the Third Battalion, Somerset Light Infantry on 17 November 1917. In February 1918 he was hospitalized with trench fever and on 15 April was wounded by a stray English shell during the Battle of Arras whereupon he was sent to a London hospital. He was demobilized on 29 December 1918.

His first volume of verse, Spirits in Bondage, was published in 1919 and included many poems written while he served in northern France.

The early poems remain a powerful witness to Lewis’s early atheism, railing against an absent and uncaring God who failed to halt the slaughter the author saw around him. But he never achieved recognition as a “war poet”

Alister McGrath, Daily Telegraph 21 November 2012

C.S. Lewis’ Poems: