Monday, April 2, 2018

Malcolm Guite*

Malcolm Guite is an English formalist poet, who is chaplain at Girton College, Cambridge, and teaches at the Faculty of Divinity at Cambridge University. He is author of several books, including two poetry anthologies for Lent and Advent, as well as Mariner: A Voyage with Samuel Taylor Coleridge (2017, Hodder & Stoughton): his analysis of "The Rime of the Ancient Mariner."

I met with him last fall in Hamilton, Ontario — the city his family had moved to when he was crossing into adolescence, before he was sent to boarding school in England to preserve his British identity. It was a delight, to drive him through Hamilton streets which he began to recognize from his youth.

During his terrible boarding school experience his worldview shifted from Christianity to existentialism. However, by his final year of graduate studies at Pembroke College, Cambridge, he re-engaged with Christian faith through his experience of beauty in the romantic poets, the religious significance of historic sites he had visited, and through a paper he had written analyzing the Psalms.

Guite participates in many events in Britain and North America related to C.S. Lewis scholarship, and has collaborated and toured with Canadian musician Steve Bell. The following poem is from his third full-length poetry collection Parable and Paradox, which appeared from Canterbury Press in 2016.

I AM The Resurrection

John 11.25: I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in
me, though he were dead, yet shall he live.

How can you be the final resurrection?
That resurrection hasn’t happened yet.
Our broken world is still bent on destruction,
No sun can rise before that sun has set.
Our faith looks back to father Abraham
And forward to the one who is to come
How can you speak as though he knew your name?
How can you say: before he was I am?

Begin in me and I will read your riddle
And teach you truths my Spirit will defend
I am the End who meets you in the middle,
The new Beginning hidden in the End.
I am the victory, the end of strife
I am the resurrection and the life.

Posted with permission of the poet.

*This is the second Kingdom Poets post about Malcolm Guite: first post, third post.

Entry written by D.S. Martin. His latest poetry collection is Ampersand (2018, Cascade). His books are available through Amazon, and Wipf & Stock, including the anthologies The Turning Aside, and Adam, Eve, & the Riders of the Apocalypse.