Detailed examination of each poem in Spirits in Bondage, using the young poet’s “Matter = Nature = Satan” equation (as expressed in letters to his friend Arthur Greeves) to explore the underlying themes of Lewis’s not just pre-conversion, but pre-theism “cycle of lyrics.” The contrast between beauty and evil, irreconcilable in this stage of Lewis’s theological development, is shown to be a major concern in this work, heavily influenced by his World War I experiences. An appendix details the matter of the poems rejected and replaced before publication.

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