In the ongoing series on The Great Divorce we come to Sarah Smith–certainly one of the more intriguing, engaging, troubling, and freeing characters in C.S. Lewis’ fiction. In this week’s guest post, poet Hannah Eagleson gives us a glimpse into her reading of Sarah Smith.
“Sarah Smith, of Golders Green”
by Hannah Eagleson
Who knows what weight of everyday
What secrets the neighbor children told you,
Because they could not bear them alone,
What troubles your friend brought to you,
How much time you took tying them up carefully into parcels
That you could hoist away for her,
Like a ship ferrying away scrap iron,
Riding lower in the water
As the delivery man trots off with a spring in his step,
Free of the burden?
What heft of moments
Sorting petty arguments and new-washed laundry,
Heavier than they look
For those who carry them from year to year.
What coins you piled
Into charity boxes,
Which threadbare shops you filled with
Gravity and laughter,
Which sorrows you lifted
On graceful shoulders?
Which hours you gave to your husband’s small questions:
Is there a stamp? Do you see what I did there?
Do you know what I’ve done for you,
I’ve given you sixpence to get a new compact,
The slow accumulation of rain in a pool
On a gray day
Made green like the grass on Hampstead Heath,
Lead transfigured, alchemy of days
The light that follows you,
In radii of gold.
Hannah Eagleson is at work on a children’s novel about a dragon who sells tea in eighteenth century London. She recently authored study guides to works by C. S. Lewis, Dorothy L. Sayers, and J. R. R. Tolkien for the Walking to Wisdom series with Classical Academic Press. In addition, she edits Scholar’s Compass, a devotional for and by Christian academics at the blog of InterVarsity’s Emerging Scholars Network. Hannah holds a PhD in Renaissance literature from the University of Delaware, and an MA from St. John’s College.