Monday, July 16, 2012

Monday Poetry: Evolutionary Hymn

CS Lewis may be one of the most read and respected writers in modern Christianity.  He wrote dozens of books on theology, fantasy, literature, etc.

But what he really wanted to do was write poetry.  Like Michelangelo who wanted to sculpt, but instead was compelled to paint the Sistine Chapel, Lewis wanted to compose vibrant verse, but instead wrote profound prose.

But when he got the chance, he flexed his poetic muscles in the way that only he could.  The following is a satirical poem on Darwinism.  Lewis never really had a large problem with the idea that man evolved as a species.  But he was appalled by those who took this theory and concluded that survival was the only moral good.  In other words, we are only beasts who think.  The following poem highlights that absurdity

Evolutionary Hymn

Lead us, Evolution, lead us
Up the future's endless stair;
Chop us, change us, prod us, weed us.
For stagnation is despair:
Groping, guessing, yet progressing,
Lead us nobody knows where.

Wrong or justice, joy or sorrow,
In the present what are they
while there's always jam-tomorrow,
While we tread the onward way?
Never knowing where we're going,
We can never go astray.

To whatever variation
Our posterity may turn
Hairy, squashy, or crustacean,
Bulbous-eyed or square of stern,
Tusked or toothless, mild or ruthless,
Towards that unknown god we yearn.

Ask not if it's god or devil,
Brethren, lest your words imply
Static norms of good and evil
(As in Plato) throned on high;
Such scholastic, inelastic,
Abstract yardsticks we deny.

Far too long have sages vainly
Glossed great Nature's simple text;
He who runs can read it plainly,
'Goodness = what comes next.'
By evolving, Life is solving
All the questions we perplexed.

On then! Value means survival-
Value. If our progeny
Spreads and spawns and licks each rival,
That will prove its deity
(Far from pleasant, by our present,
Standards, though it may well be). 

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