Anyone who knows me knows of my enthusiasm for the work of English poet Malcolm Guite. Honestly? —if anyone bothers to write about me after I’m gone, I imagine they will write that the first half of my career was most profoundly influenced by the work of Bruce Cockburn, and the second half by Malcolm Guite.
For several years now, producer Roy Salmond and I, in co-operation with Incarnation Ministries, have been colluding to produce an album of songs and poetry readings by the lively bard, specifically created for a North American audience. And we’re very pleased to announce that the project is now available.
The 17 track disc is a unique blend of spoken-word poetry underscored beautifully by musical soundscapes created by Roy Salmond, and several of Malcolm’s Dylan-esque songs, some which are reworkings from previous MG albums, and some new, including the gorgeously written and performed Eyrie:
High in my eyrie in North Carolina
I take up your tender guitar
I’m thinking of home and all that I’ve left there
And maybe I’ve travelled too far
The skylight is open, the moonlight is brimming
And waltzing its way cross the floor
My body is aching and wants to be sleeping
but my spirit is asking for more
Those unfamiliar with poetry will discover a kindly friend and guide in Malcolm Guite. Those better acquainted will discover a poet’s poet whose deceptive accessibility and English charm woos the reader into depths unexpected. Consider Annunciation:
We see so little, stayed on surfaces,
We calculate the outside of all things,
Preoccupied with our own purposes
We miss the shimmer of the angel’s wings.
They coruscate around us in their joy
A swirl of wheels and eyes and wings unfurled,
They guard the good we purpose to destroy,
A hidden blaze of Glory in God’s world.
But on this day a young girl stopped to see
With open eyes and heart. She heard a voice;
The promise of His glory yet to be,
As time stood still for her to make a choice;
Gabriel knelt and not a feather stirred,
The Word himself was waiting on her word.
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.
(excerpt from The Singing Bowl)
But there’s nothing quite like hearing poetry in the poet’s own voice, and happily, Malcolm Guite’s Songs and Sonnets gives us greater access to the work of an artist who is fast becoming a significant international voice in loving service of the true, the good, and the beautiful.
- Singing Bowl
- Saying The Names
- Angels Unawares
- My Poetry Is Jamming Your Machine
- Cloud Hidden
- The Seven I AM Sayings
- The Sun Beat Me To The Day
- What If
- Five Dialogues On The Two Great Commandments
- The Green Man
- The Naming of Jesus
- Smoke Rings From My Pipe
- Pour Out The Wine