Kind Words From Rowan Williams

Come to the Launch Dec. 5th 7:30pm St. Edwards Cambridge!

In the midst of November gloom I have just had a very encouraging email. It was from my publishers at Canterbury Press and contained the comments on my poetry which they intend to use as ‘blurbs’ on the back of the book. They had sent advanced copies to various people for comment, and happily all of them have written back with real encouragement and the kind of comment that will, I hope, wing the book on its way. I am grateful for all these endorsements and particularly grateful that Rowan Williams, in the midst of so many more pressing matters, found the time to read and comment on these poems, What a remarkable man he is!

So here are the comments and endorsements from which the cover ‘blurb’s will be taken:

‘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

‘Each of Malcolm Guite’s sonnets is like a Celtic knot, with threads of devotion and theology cunningly woven into shining emblems of truth and beauty. Whether spoken aloud or read silently, these poems speak to mind and soul.’  Luci Shaw, poet and author of Harvesting Fog and Breath for the Bones: Art, Imagination and Spirit

‘I can hardly overstate my enthusiasm for this work. The poetry is masterful, the insights breathtaking. At a time when language has all but lost its magic, and the church her confidence, Sounding the Seasons rekindles the belly’s fire and reminds us that this adventure is both noble and far from over.’       Steve Bell, singer-songwriter

 ‘The sonnets are made to be read out loud to help us experience the sacred year in a renewed way. His aim is to be appropriate, up-to-date and focused. His poetry is deeply informed by knowledge of the Christian faith; and he brings his skill with the sonnet to communicate this knowledge with gentleness, accuracy and flashes of fire.’   Sebastian Barker FRSL, poet and author of The Erotics of God and many other volumes of poetry

 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


Filed under christianity, literature

11 responses to “Kind Words From Rowan Williams

  1. Margot Krebs Neale

    Hear, hear!
    especially the comment by Grevel Lindop. Deeply rooted in tradition, deeply contemporary, just deep!

  2. I can’t say I’m surprised your work has attracted such wonderful comments! I can’t wait to see the whole book. Funnily enough my son will be in Cambridge on the evening of your launch as he has an interview at Emmanuel the next day. Wonder if I can encourage/persuade/bribe him to pop along and get me a copy!

  3. Heather Hancock

    Can we buy this outside of the UK? I am in Canada and was just recently introduced to your poetry through attending Steve Bell’s concert for his new CD “Keening for the Dawn” in which your poetry if showcased to the Glory of God. My husband and I are both poets and feel kindred spirits toward you and would appreciate being able to read your sonnets and meditate on them. You are truly gifted…thank you for sharing your gift.

  4. Catharine Phillips

    How Simply Lovely! I wish we could meet. I wish I could attend your book unveiling (uncovering?) next month. Blessings on your head and heart, Catharine

    On Fri, Nov 23, 2012 at 3:59 AM, Malcolm Guite

    • malcolmguite

      Thanks Catharine. Having such a positive response from readers of my blog is one of the things that has kept me going in the long haul, especially during the year or so I was working on the sonnets without being certain of a publisher.

  5. Malcolm, all the Kudos you can handle, dear heart. I can’t wait to have my hands on this book, and the cd (which I ordered last week) xxx

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