The Future of Forestry

Lately I have been listening to an Indie Christian band called Future of Forestry. The band is led by multi instrumentalist, singer, composer and all round mega talent Eric Owyoung. The music is clever and rich, but I'm always a sucker for someone with a clever turn of phrase, so it's the lyrics which have captured me more than anything.

And then there's the name. The group call themselves after a poem by C S Lewis which I had heretofore (and who these days uses a word like heretofore? ) never heard of. But that was my loss. It sums up much of Lewis' passion about the spiritual worth of landscape and wildness. And much of what Eric Owyoung and his friends are on about.

The Future of Forestry
 How will the legend of the age of trees
Feel, when the last tree falls in England?
When the concrete spreads and the town conquers
The country’s heart; when contraceptive
Tarmac’s laid where farm has faded,
Tramline flows where slept a hamlet,
And shop-fronts, blazing without a stop from
Dover to Wrath, have glazed us over?
Simplest tales will then bewilder
The questioning children, “What was a chestnut?
Say what it means to climb a Beanstalk,
Tell me, grandfather, what an elm is.
What was Autumn? They never taught us.”
Then, told by teachers how once from mould
Came growing creatures of lower nature
Able to live and die, though neither
Beast nor man, and around them wreathing
Excellent clothing, breathing sunlight –
Half understanding, their ill-acquainted
Fancy will tint their wonder-paintings
Trees as men walking, wood-romances
Of goblins stalking in silky green,
Of milk-sheen froth upon the lace of hawthorn’s
Collar, pallor in the face of birchgirl.
So shall a homeless time, though dimly
Catch from afar (for soul is watchfull)
A sight of tree-delighted Eden.
- C S Lewis


Alden Smith said…
I would imagine there are other C S Lewis disciples who heretofore have not heard of this poem. Lewis' 'Narrative Poems' contains his big poems: Dymer, Launcelot, The Nameless Isle and The Queen of Drum but other than these and the wonderful poetic words that are etched on Joy Lewis' (Davidman) grave I know of no other poems. A "Collected Poems - C S Lewis" would be a great addition to my Lewis library. If there is such a book I would be interested in purchasing it.
Alden Smith said…
Hmmm... did an AmazonDotC search and found possibly the only book of Lewis' that I haven't read .... It's called "Poems" (How did I ever miss it?). I have ordered it. I am expecting a feast.