Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Dear Digory

At the end of The Magician's Nephew, Lewis wrote that Polly and Digory remained great friends all their lives-- but apparently neither of them ever married. Why? What must Polly have thought, when after many, many years of grown-up life, Digory wrote to her that four children had stumbled into Narnia through a wardrobe?

Dear Digory: you write with news of Narnia
as if you still expect me to believe it’s true?
Years ago we made up and played a child’s game
about rings, pools, a witch, a wood,
gold and silver trees that grew from coin-seeds,
your uncle mad, your mother dying.

We invented red-sunned Charn, a dying
world, as well as newborn Narnia.
Perhaps you’d gleaned some fantastic seed
of all this fairy-tale from your uncle’s books, true
scholar he (though apt to lose the wood
for the trees). He played ugly games.

One part of this that was no game--
you really thought your mother was dying.
I’ll forgive much for that—but if you would
only abandon this obsession with Narnia!
What life could be based on something so untrue?
False flower grows from false seed.

Yes, this and only this has been the seed
of our separation. This childhood game.
Because you insisted and insisted it was true,
long past time the dream should have been left to die.
I grew tired, Digory, of playing Narnia.
Your importuning fell at last on ears of wood.

You’ve followed your uncle’s path (though I would
call you both wiser and kinder), seeking some seed
of knowledge that might lead you back to Narnia.
You’ve given up adult life for the game.
And as you’ve lived, you’re determined to die,
still struggling to prove it was all true.

Is this how you hope to win my true
love, by leading me back to the wood
of make-believe, where hope can save the dying?
Too late; my heart’s a dry shrivelled seed.
Digory, release me from this game.
It was you I loved, and never Narnia.

Polly, the wardrobe was wood that grew from the seed.
Though dead, it’s magic enough to prove the truth--
children playing games can still find Narnia.

6 comments:

...deb said...

Interesting take on the question there. I can believe it, reading here. (One of my favorite writers, Lewis.)

tumblewords said...

Nice post!

LittleWing said...

excellent story, especially the way you brought it in for a landing...

jadey said...

I liked this post a lot I thought it was very well written and thought out.

Constance said...

I loved the last stanzas. Very moving!

San said...

how lovely. :)