A Sonnet for Mothering Sunday

…for those who loved and laboured…

The fourth Sunday of Lent happens also to be Mothring Sunday. Continuing in my series of sonnets for the Church Year I have written this one for Mothering Sunday. It’s a thanksgiving for all parents, especialy for those who bore the fruitful pain of labour, and more particularly in this poem I have singled out for praise those heroic single parents who, for whatever reason, have found themselves bearing alone the burdens, and sharing with no-one the joys of their parenthood.

This poem is taken from my collection Sounding the Seasons published by Canterbury Press. Canterbury are now also launching a Kindle Edition which will be available from March 21st.

I am grateful to Oliver  Neale for his thought-provoking work as a photographer, and, as always, you can hear the poem by clicking on the ‘play’ button, or on the title

Mothering Sunday


At last, in spite of all, a recognition,

For those who loved and laboured for so long,

Who brought us, through that labour, to fruition

To flourish in the place where we belong.

A thanks to those who stayed and did the raising,

Who buckled down and did the work of two,

Whom governments have mocked instead of praising,

Who hid their heart-break and still struggled through,

The single mothers forced onto the edge

Whose work the world has overlooked, neglected,

Invisible to wealth and privilege,

But in whose lives the kingdom is reflected.

Now into Christ our mother church we bring them,

Who shares with them the birth-pangs of His Kingdom.


Filed under christianity, Poems, politics

5 responses to “A Sonnet for Mothering Sunday

  1. This abandoned mother of three sons thanks you!

  2. A ‘bread and roses’ poem. Thank you. And thank you for your nine La Commedias which are walking with me on my own path. Waiting expectantly for two collections of your poems to arrive in Seattle from England and Rome. Soon I hope. On the light side: I am baking a simnel cake for a family gathering at Easter.

    • malcolmguite

      Thanks! I know people have had real problems getting STS from Amazon in the US. But if you order it direct from Canterbury it seems to ship to the states in about 9 days

  3. Ginny Spitzer


  4. colleenppeters

    thank you Malcolm for this beautiful tribute to single moms! I’m a board member at our CPC here in Winnipeg, MB – http://www.pregnancy.ca/ and passed your sonnet along to our prayer coordinator given her suggestion that we make single moms the focus of our prayers this week.

    with gratitude, Colleen

    On Sat, Mar 9, 2013 at 4:50 AM, Malcolm Guite

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.