Malcolm Guite

In the end nothing is “secular,” but everything, even the smallest and most ordinary things,
can be lifted up into the light of Christ and transfigured.

(Malcolm Guite)

Malcolm Guite

Singing Bowl

Begin the song exactly where you are,
Remain within the world of which you’re made.
Call nothing common in the earth or air,

Accept it all and let it be for good.
Start with the very breath you breathe in now,
This moment’s pulse, this rhythm in your blood

And listen to it, ringing soft and low.
Stay with the music, words will come in time.
Slow down your breathing. Keep it deep and slow.

Become an open singing-bowl, whose chime
Is richness rising out of emptiness,
And timelessness resounding into time.

And when the heart is full of quietness
Begin the song exactly where you are.

Malcolm Guite is a poet-priest and Chaplain of Girton College Cambridge.  He often travels round Great Britain and North America to give lectures, concerts, and poetry readings.

Malcolm is the author of eight books:

  • Mariner: A Voyage with Samuel Taylor Coleridge
  • Parable and Paradox: Sonnets on the Sayings of Jesus and Other Poems
  • Waiting on the Word; a poem a day for Advent, Christmas and Epiphany
  • The Word in the Wilderness; a poem a day for Lent, Holy week and Easter
  • The Singing Bowl
  • Sounding the Seasons
  • Faith Hope and Poetry
  • What Do Christians Believe?

Here are some comments on his book of sonnets Sounding the Seasons:

Malcolm Guite knows exactly how to use the sonnet form to powerful effect.  These pieces have the economy and pungency of all good sonnets, and again and again, offer deep resources for prayer and meditation to the reader.  In his own words, ‘brevity, clarity, concentration and a capacity for paradox’ are typical of the best sonnet sequences, and all those qualities are to be found here. (Rowan Williams, Archbishop of Canterbury)

Malcolm Guite’s poetic sequence is fresh and wholly contemporary, yet richly rooted in tradition. Using the sonnet form with absolute naturalness as he traces the year and its festivals, he offers the reader – whether Christian or not – profound and beautiful utterance which is patterned but also refreshingly spontaneous. Sounding the Seasons is an important poetic event, and one that invites readers to share both celebration and soul-searching. (Grevel Lindop, poet and literary critic)

And here are some on his book about poetry and theology Faith Hope and Poetry:

A profound theology of the imagination, developed in dialogue with writers both familiar and unfamiliar, beautifully combining close reading with wide horizons. (Rowan Williams, Archbishop of Canterbury)

Malcolm Guite has offered us an immensely rich work in which the truth telling available only in poetry is brought to the service of mature theological vision. It is quite simply both astounding and outstanding. (Stephen Sykes, Former Regius Professor of Divinity at Cambridge University)

Writers close to Malcolm’s heart include Seamus Heaney, T. S. Eliot, and George Herbert.



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