Palm Sunday: A Sonnet

image courtesy of https://lanciaesmith.com

image courtesy of https://lanciaesmith.com

We come now, with Palm Sunday, to the beginning of Holy Week and in the sonnets that follow I have explored the truth that what was happening ‘out there’ and ‘back then’ as Christ entered Jerusalem is also happening  ‘in here’ and ‘right now’. There is a Jerusalem of the heart. Our inner life also has its temple and palaces, its places of corruption, its gardens of rest, its seat of judgement.

In the sequence of sonnets which begins today I invite you to walk with Christ, and let him walk with you on both an outer and an inner journey that leads to the cross and beyond.

This sonnet, and the others I will be posting for Holy Week are all drawn from my collection Sounding the Seasons, published by Canterbury Press here in England. The book is now back in stock on both Amazon UK and USA and physical copies are also available in Canada via Steve Bell‘s Signpost Music. The book is now also out on Kindle.

Do feel free to reproduce these poems for any Church services in which you may wish to use them, just include a line to say “From Sounding the Seasons, by Malcolm Guite, CanterburyPress 2012”

 

As before I am grateful to Lancia Smith and  Margot Krebs Neale for the evocative images that accompany these poems. Of the image at the beginning of this post she writes:

– Who stands in the eye of the camera? behind that gate?
– The Savior? or me looking out and seeing in my fellow being an incarnation of the Saviour?

and for the image below she says: ‘this wax the child is melting could symbolise this resistance which becomes the source, the stock of the light that comes from us.’

As always you can hear the poem by clicking on the ‘play’ button below or on the title of the poem

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.

9 Comments

Filed under imagination

9 responses to “Palm Sunday: A Sonnet

  1. Kevin Olson

    Wow

    Sent from my iPhone

    >

  2. ” There is a Jerusalem of the heart. Our inner life also has its temple and palaces, its places of corruption, its gardens of rest, its seat of judgement.”

    Thank you, Malcolm, for the care-filled entry as we walk into Holy Week.

  3. Crowds changing their tunes does reflect human reality, but not the text of Holy Week. https://textsincontext.wordpress.com/2014/04/11/holy-week-beware-idle-conjecture/

  4. Bren

    I enjoy the image that the idea of a Jerusalem of the heart. My veins are highways, my organs cities, my mind the holiest of holies. My bones the infrastructure that holds this holy place where my Lord indwells called Me.

  5. Masoud

    Hi. How Can i Have a selection of your poetry to translate in my country. We dont have international card to pay. this is my email: masoud.bamdad84@gmail.com

    bests

    Masoud

    • malcolmguite

      Hi Masoud could you tell me a bit more about yourself. Which country? Do you want to publish and sell the translations? Or just put them free on the Internet? If just free on the Internet then just go ahead and translate M

  6. Joseph Bechtel

    Malcolm, thank you for this prayer for grace.

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