Barely a week after arriving at the Western Front in France in November 1917, Second Lieutenant C. S. Lewis found himself under enemy fire. Nothing could have prepared him for the wretched realities of trench warfare. With the sound of guns all about him, he wrote a poem, “French Nocturne,” as cynical and bereft of hope as anything produced by anti-war poets such as Siegfried Sassoon and Wilfred Owen:
What call have I to dream of anything?
I am a wolf. Back to the world again,
And speech of fellow-brutes that once were men
Our throats can bark for slaughter: cannot sing.
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