£5000 Monument to Lewis Features Wrong Poem

The Lewis Legacy-Issue 72, Spring 1997 The C.S. Lewis Foundation for Truth in Publishing

According to Michael Ward’s announcement in the 1996 issue of the Wade Center’s journal SEVEN, donations are being accepted for a handsome C. S. Lewis memorial to be erected along Addison’s Walk at Magdalen College in time for Lewis’s 1998 centennial. The President of Magdalen College approves. A distinguished stonemason named Alec Peever (who has original works in Westminster Abbey, St. Paul’s, and Canterbury Cathedral) has been commissioned for the project. Cost will be about 5000 pounds sterling. Checks should be payable to “The C. S. Lewis Centenary Stone” and sent to Mr. Peter Cousin, The Treasurer, The Oxford C. S. Lewis Society, c/o Pusey House, St. Giles, Oxford, OX1 3LZ. Correspondence should be addressed to Centenary Secretary Michael Ward at that address. Mr. Ward is also president of the Oxford C.S. Lewis Society and chief resident at the Kilns. (There are usually about 40 people present at the Society meetings, including tourists, and Walter Hooper is a prominent member.) Ironically, the text on the monument is not the perfectly good poem Lewis published in Oxford Magazine in 1938. It’s the much inferior version Walter Hooper published in Poems in 1964 with Lewis’s ending removed. Both versions begin with the words “I heard in Addison’s Walk a bird sing clear…” What a shame that the appropriate poem, like many others by Lewis, was clumsily altered (or “Waltered”) in 1964. For both versions, see pp. 18-19.