Episode Six Behind the Scenes of Becoming Mrs. Lewis
Dearest 🎧 Listener,
Welcome to Episode Six of Behind the Scenes of Becoming Mrs. Lewis Podcast!
Over 300 poems by Joy Davidman were never published during her lifetime and were, in fact, lost until quite recently. Dr. Don King has edited, analyzed and published them in his book Yet One More Spring: A Critical Study of the Works of Joy Davidman.
In this episode, I am speaking with Dr. Don W. King and discussing how Joy’s poetry reveals her desires, persistence, and even her pain. Did Joy give Lewis these poems? And how do these poems reflect their love story? Quite racy in parts, Joy’s desire and love for Lewis is palpable in these lost sonnets.
If you missed Episode Five, be sure to tune in. MUSE AND CO-AUTHOR—Joy as Lewis’s muse and co-Author with Andrew Lazo
Each of these episodes begins with Joy’s startlingly beautiful poetry.
Stay tuned! 🔊 We have episode seven to come and bonus episodes to follow!
With💕JOY, Patti Callahan
November 5, 2019
The Lost Love Sonnets —Joy's poetry to C.S. Lewis with Dr. Don W. King
Jacob Goins. A special thank you to the studio.
Dr. Don W. King
Website and Bio Professor of English Montreat College
Dr. King is also a C.S. Lewis scholar. He has published five books concerning Lewis, including Plain to the Inward Eye: Selected Essays on C.S. Lewis, C.S. Lewis, Poet: The Legacy of His Poetic Impulse, Hunting the Unicorn: A Critical Biography of Ruth Pitter, Out of My Bone: The Letters of Joy Davidman, and Yet One More Spring: A Critical Study of the Works of Joy Davidman. He has also contributed articles on C.S. Lewis’s poetry to The C.S. Lewis Readers’ Encyclopedia and to C.S. Lewis—Life, Works, and Legacy. Twice he has led week-long summer seminars on Lewis at Lewis’s home, the Kilns, for the C.S. Lewis Foundation’s Summer Seminars in Residence Program.
Joy Davidman's Poetry:
Joy Davidman (1915-1960) was an American poet and writer who married C. S. Lewis in 1956. Her published books include Letter to a Comrade, an award-winning volume of poetry, and Smoke on the Mountain: An Interpretation of the Ten Commandments.
A Naked Tree: Love Sonnets to C.S. Lewis and other poems —by Joy Davidman and edited by Don W. King. Sonnet XXiX
Narrator for the Poetry section:
The Author and Host:
New York Times Bestselling Author Patti Callahan Henry Writing as Patti Callahan. Website (The Novel) Becoming Mrs. Lewis: The Improbable Love Story of Joy Davidman and C. S. Lewis. (The Podcast) Behind the Scenes of Becoming Mrs. Lewis Podcast Series.
Do not be angry that I am a woman
And so have lips that want your kiss, and breasts
That want your fingers on them; being human
I need a heart on which my heart can rest;
Do not be angry that I cry your name
At the harsh night, or wear the darkness through
With blind arm groping for you in a dream;
I was made flesh for this, and so were you.
Quarrel with God if you like, but not with me,
That hands beat impotently for three years
Against an iron door, could still caress
The naked body of love with ecstasy,
And might have ways to teach you tenderness.
More than you have learned from all your prayers
"Begin again, must I begin again Who have begun so many loves in fire And ended them in dirty ash? Despair Of treating you better than other men
Would take the taste of love out of my mouth Before I had spoken half the lying word I would have loved you once if I had dared And made a song of it. I’ll save my breath
And save your peace, God love you! But for me, I’ll measure my affection by the drachm As men weigh poisons. Honoured sir, I am Somewhat your friend, as far as courtesy.
Requires, your servant; not at all your slave. I love you far too well to give you love."
— Joy Davidman
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Behind the Scenes of Becoming Mrs. Lewis Podcast Series
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Episode List Becoming Mrs. Lewis Podcast
September 12, 2019
October 1, 2019
WHAT ABOUT THE CHILDREN PART 1
— With Douglas Gresham (before Joy's cancer)
As Joy Davidman’s son and C.S. Lewis’s stepson, Douglas Gresham has a distinctly unique perspective on the love story that transpired between the two writers. Gresham shares with Patti his first years of knowing and meeting Lewis and explains how Joy and Lewis’s correspondence, romance, and marriage affected the entire Gresham family.
October 8, 2019
WHAT ABOUT THE CHILDREN PART II
—With Douglas Gresham (after Joy's cancer)
When Douglas Gresham first learned of his mother’s cancer diagnosis, he very clearly heard the Lord say, “If you can’t make it, if you really can’t make it without your mother, I can fix it. All you have to do is ask.” Joy Davidman’s cancer later went miraculously into remission and gave her, her two children, and Lewis four more blissful years before fatally returning. In this episode, Douglas takes Patti through the years following his mother’s death and shares how her cancer diagnosis not only changed him but also changed the people whom he learned to call family.
October 15, 2019 LOSING FAITH
—Did Lewis lose his faith after Joy’s death?
With Dr. David Downing
“No one ever told me that grief felt so like fear,” C.S. Lewis writes in his raw and beautiful book, A Grief Observed, which chronicled his heartbreak after losing his wife, Joy Davidman, to cancer in 1960. Many have read this text and have interpreted that Lewis might have lost his Christian faith after losing Joy. Patti joins Dr. David and Crystal Downing in Wheaton College’s Marion E. Wade Center to discuss how this grief impacted Lewis, his future writing, and ultimately, his Christianity. She discusses the fascinating essay “A Grief Obscured” by Dr. David Downing.
October 22, 2019
—Why did Lewis choose Joy Davidman? Dr. Crystal Hurd and Dr. Crystal Downing
One of the questions that Patti asked while writing Becoming Mrs. Lewis was: Why Joy? Why was Joy Davidman the woman who finally ended Lewis’s long run as a bachelor? Patti speaks with Dr. Crystal Downing about how Dorothy Sayers introduced Lewis to an appreciation of brilliant, fiery women who bristled against cultural gender expectations. In another conversation, Dr. Crystal Hurd gives insight on how Lewis’s mother, Flora Lewis, also paved the way to Lewis finding his soul mate in the feisty Joy Davidman.
October 29, 2019
MUSE AND CO-AUTHOR
—Joy as Lewis’s muse and co-Author with Andrew Lazo
Till We Have Faces, a retelling of the ancient story of Cupid and Psyche, is often hailed as one of C.S. Lewis’s most mature and sophisticated novels. In fact, Lewis himself credits the title as being one of his best books. Patti speaks with scholar Andrew Lazo about how Till We Have Faces was heavily influenced—and arguably cowritten—by wife Joy Davidman and how Lewis’s other works show Davidman’s literary fingerprint.
November 5, 2019
THE LOST LOVE SONNETS
—Joy’s poetry to C.S. Lewis with Dr. Don W. King
Over 300 poems by Joy Davidman were never published during her lifetime and were, in fact, lost until quite recently. Dr. Don King has edited, analyzed, and published them in his book Yet One More Spring: A Critical Study of the Works of Joy Davidman. During their compelling conversation in this episode, Patti and Don discuss how Joy’s poetry reveals her desires, persistence, and even her pain. Together, they also ask: Did Joy give Lewis these poems? And how do these poems reflect their love story? Quite racy in parts, Joy’s desire and love for Lewis is palpable in these lost sonnets.
November 12, 2019
SURPRISED BY LOVE
—How love found C.S. Lewis with Andrew Lazo
A once-proclaimed “confirmed bachelor,” C.S. Lewis found himself contradicted when he fell in love with Joy Davidman. However, it is up for debate WHEN Lewis discovered this deep love for Joy. Scholar Andrew Lazo discusses how the letters and works of C.S. Lewis showcase his evolving self-awareness as he realized that he had helplessly fallen in love with the imperious Joy Davidman.
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About the Author
The author is also the host of the seven-part original "Behind the Scenes of Becoming Mrs. Lewis Podcast Series" —launched October 1, 2019.
A full-time author and mother of three children, she now resides in both Mountain Brook, Alabama and Bluffton, South Carolina with her husband.