Monday, March 30, 2020

Malcolm Guite*

Malcolm Guite teaches at the Faculty of Divinity at Cambridge University, and is chaplain at Girton College, Cambridge. He is a well-respected Christian poet and scholar ― having written critical pieces such as Mariner: A Theological Voyage with Samuel Taylor Coleridge (2018, IVP Academic), edited poetry anthologies, and had several collections of his own work published. His newest poetry book is After Prayer: New Sonnets and Other Poems (2019, Canterbury).

He has also collaborated with artists in other genres ― particularly inspiring Canadians such as singer Steve Bell (CD Keening For the Dawn), and visual artist Faye Hall who created 63 images illuminating 63 lines of his poetry for the book Seven Whole Days (2017, Castle Quay Books).

The following link presents Malcolm reading his poem “As If” , augmented with a visual climb along vines, through a fruit tree, and into an atrium at Regent College where Guite was the featured speaker for the 2019 Laing Lectures. His topic being: Imagining the Kingdom.

The following poem is from his collection Sounding the Seasons.

A Sonnet for Palm Sunday

Now to the gate of my Jerusalem,
The seething holy city of my heart,
The Saviour comes. But will I welcome him?
Oh crowds of easy feelings make a start;
They raise their hands, get caught up in the singing,
And think the battle won. Too soon they’ll find
The challenge, the reversal he is bringing
Changes their tune. I know what lies behind
The surface flourish that so quickly fades;
Self-interest, and fearful guardedness,
The hardness of the heart, its barricades,
And at the core, the dreadful emptiness
Of a perverted temple. Jesus, come
Break my resistance and make me your home.

Posted with permission of the poet.

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