5 Dialogues: 4 With All Your Mind

My Motto!

My Motto!

Here is the fourth of my five dialogues on the two great commandments. I described the whole sequence in this post. The poems are taken from my new book Parable and Paradox, available from Amazon or on order from any bookshop. do come to the launch at Girton college on 14th June at 5:15 if you are free. This sequence will also feature on my new record Songs and Sonnets. Click here to learn more and support the project if you wish. This fourth poem in the series reflects on what it might mean to love with all my mind. As always you can hear the poem by clicking on the title or the play button.

Luke 10:27 He answered, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’”


IV With All Your Mind


With all my mind? With all my open questions?

My restless questing after hidden truth?

With all my science, all my suppositions?

My search for certainty, my lust for proof?

With all my mind? its logic and obsession,

Its wordless reveries, its language games,

Its reason and its deep imagination

Its mysteries, its riddles and its dreams?


With all your mind, with every gift I gave you,

For every drop of truth is drawn from me.

Not that your mind itself will ever save you,

But that it lives within my mystery.

Ask and be answered, seek and you will find

I am the life of every loving mind.


Filed under christianity, Poems

17 responses to “5 Dialogues: 4 With All Your Mind

  1. Carole Lewis

    As always fascinating and food for thought. (Sorry to be pedantic but “it’s” means it is. What is required here is the possessive adjective “its”…assume it must be a printer’s error).

    • Frances Westcott

      I’m not sure that it is a printer’s error as the incorrect usage happens so frequently in these sonnets. I still love the poetry but, like Carole, I think grammar is important for communication. I had to read the lines three times before I realised the meaning was ‘its i.e. belonging to it’ not ‘it is’.

    • Carole Lewis

      Sorry to have offended you but to me a poem is even more than the sound and the meaning…when I see it on the page it is also a work of beautiful form and spelling rules DO matter to me! My degree was in German and English and I find the precision and quirks of spelling beautiful. We don’t live in Shakespeare’s century and spelling has evolved. It’s instead of its to me is an unnecessary blot on its loveliness. However, it’s your poem and I Still love it.

  2. Ditto on ‘its’ as genitive and not a contraction!

    I love these sonnets on the Shema so very much. Here is Mary Somerville on the human mind and God:

    These formulae, emblematic of Omniscience, condense into a few symbols the immutable laws of the universe. This mighty instrument of human power itself originates in the primitive constitution of the human mind, and rests upon a few fundamental axioms, which have eternally existed in Him who implanted them in the breast of man when he created him after His own image.

    Mary Somerville (E29), The Connexions of the Physical Sciences, 1837.

  3. Alice Dearden

    Malcolm, I love your stuff, but you’ve got to learn when to use “it’s” and when to use “its”! “It’s” = “it is” “Its” = “belong to it” (like “his” and “hers” (not “hi’s” and “her’s”))

    Very best wishes, Alice

    • malcolmguite

      Sorry to have been a little abrupt in the replies below. I have fixed the apostrophes which my computer needlessly added, however I still don’t think, in the ultimate schema of things, that it matters.

  4. Cesiah

    Thank you very much for the poem! It visits a lot of my own questions associated with trying to reconcile the uncertainties and logical quandaries of human understanding with seeking after God. The line “I am the life of every loving mind” captures a very significant point in that journey. God remains at the center of those questions and fragments, and it is love rather than a hubristic enterprise that characterizes the mind that seeks after God.

    From a technical standpoint, I appreciated the use of sonnet conventions to strengthen the idea of a dialogue: the break between speakers at the sestet and also choosing a rhyming “couplet” to lend power to the closing argument. I also like the attention to the music of the poem, specifically how punctuation and the slight variations in rhythm influence the reading.

    I will admit that the use of “it’s” was initially confusing, simply because I began to read it as “[My mind is] logic and obsession.” It seems like it can be read that way for a couple of lines before the clarifying punctuation at the end of the stanza.

    • malcolmguite

      Thanks for this helpful comment. Cesiah. The sinner form with the break between octet and sestet is indeed very helpful for the dialogue form. I understand that the unnecessary apostrophes are annoying. I didn’t actually put them there as I know they don’t belong I simply didn’t notice that they were there, but as I’ve said elsewhere it’s not something by which I set great store M

  5. Dear Poet-Priest Malcolm,
    While a deep and prolific writer may need and certainly deserves a tender and private editor or proofreader from time to time, I am grateful for your meaning that sings through sweetly and clearly.
    Luke 10:27 is so fittingly reflected in the question answer poetry you have brought forth; a mirror of the lawyer asking Jesus what to do to to inherit eternal life and the way Jesus has him answer his own question from what he has already been taught, the wonderful directive command from Deuteronomy 6:4. Your sonnets voice, like an inner lawyer, questions about each aspect of the command’s answer and then with love “draw down the drops of truth” ever available.
    It has been such a delight to find these sonnets in my mail box each morning this week. Thank you for voicing them…it’s music to my heart.

  6. Reblogged this on Along the Beam and commented:
    I am enjoying Dr. Guite’s dialogues on the two great commandments of our Lord from his most recent collection of poetry, “Parable and Paradox: Sonnets on the Sayings of Jesus and Other Poems.” Just when I’ve decided on a favorite, he posts another on his blog. Do check out his post below and listen to him reading it, too. This one is my new favorite … for now. Enjoy!

  7. Heather Holmes

    Thank you for these sonnets. I have been introduced to your poetry recently by my vicar and it’s been such a delight and soothing balm to hear you read them.

  8. Pingback: Worthy of Imagination – Art, Faith, Film

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