‘Heaven in Ordinary’ and a book launch invitation!

I am happy to announce that the official launch of my new poetry collection After Prayer will take place in the church of St. Edward King and Martyr, Peas Hill in central Cambridge on the 8th of November from 8-9:30pm. There will be wine and other refreshments, a reading of some poems from the new book and the chance to buy a copy at a discount and have it signed. All the readers of this blog are warmly invited. I know that for many of you there are oceans and various other impediments between you and Cambridge, but if you are anywhere near do come along if you can. If you are coming could you let me know at malcolmguite@gmail.com so I can make sure there’s enough wine!

If you want a feel for the book itself and for what moved me to write it there is a full interview Here, conducted by Lancia Smith for her excellent ‘Cultivating’ website.

Mean while here is another ‘sampler’ poem from the collection. As you know the opening sequence is a series of meditations on the phrases in George Herbert’s poem Prayer, so here is the sonnet I wrote in response to the most famous phrase in that poem: ‘Heaven in Ordinary. As always you can hear me read it by clicking on the ‘play’ button or the title.

Heaven in Ordinary

Because high heaven made itself so low

That I might glimpse it through a stable door,

Or hear it bless me through a hammer blow,

And call me through the voices of the poor,

Unbidden now, its hidden light breaks through

Amidst the clutter of the every day,

Illuminating things I thought I knew,

Whose dark glass brightens, even as I pray.


Then this world’s walls no longer stay my eyes,

A veil is lifted likewise from my heart,

The moment holds me in its strange surprise,

The gates of paradise are drawn apart,

I see his tree, with blossom on its bough,

And nothing can be ordinary now.


Filed under christianity, literature, Poems

23 responses to “‘Heaven in Ordinary’ and a book launch invitation!

  1. Sonia Falaschi-Ray

    Sorry to miss this but I have a previous engagement. I hope it goes really well. All good wishes and God bless. Sonia

    Sent from my iPhone Sonia@falaschi-ray.co.uk


  2. Jean Harcourt

    How wonderfully simple yet full of truths that ring in the heart

  3. jillianwilkinson5986

    Dear Malcolm, I am looking forward to your new book – but did you intend the poems to be reflections on the horses in George Herbert’s prayer? maybe check and correct it if you don’t want to mislead your readers.

    all good wishes Jillian


  4. Craig Anderson

    Dear Dr. Guite,

    Wish Cambridge were just a village away rather than an ocean. I’d be there. Is there any way I could secure an autographed copy here in the USA? I could purchase by credit card.

    An appreciative reader,
    Craig E Anderson
    Plantation, Florida USA

  5. lynndmorrissey

    This is so beautiful, Mr. Guite, and so true. Your poems, themselves, lift the veil for me, and often heaven shines through when I read them. I was confused by this statement in your email: “meditations on the horses in George Herbert’s poem Prayer.” I love Herbert’s prayer, and reread it, b/c I didn’t recall any mention of horses. Oh, I just reread this again. Could this simply be a typo, where you are meaning “verses”? Tx for clarifying. And are you doing an online book launch?
    Thank you
    Lynn Morrissey

  6. Katharine Venour


  7. Ruth Farrell

    Dear Malcolm, Thank you for the invitation to the launch of your new book. I hope that there will be three of us from Woolpit attending.

    Would it be possible to reproduce your poem, Heaven in Ordinary, in my parish magazine, with all the correct acknowledgements? It is a very moving poem with a message of hope in a time which feels rather dark.

    Many thanks and God bless Ruth

    Sent from my iPad


  8. 📚📜Hope it goes well. Thanks for your poem, as always.

  9. I’ve got the date in my diary and am looking forward to another of your brilliant book launches. Really looking forward to it.

  10. Evangeline Magee DeMaster

    Thank you, Malcolm Guite, for such helpful perspectives!! Can’t tell you how many times your sonnets and comments on them, and on others’ poetry, have helped pull back the veil a bit. Best of wishes in your new book launch. Would love to have been on your side of the ocean!

  11. Clyta Coder

    Once again, Malcolm, you have blessed my heart with your poem, “Heaven In Ordinary.” Your writing motivates me. Congratulations on your new book. Prayers that you have a successful launch and bless many readers with After Prayer.
    Clyta Coder
    A Laity Lodge Texas fan

  12. Ron Capell

    George Herbert’s family home lies just over the hill from here –
    He’d enthuse –

  13. meditations on the horses in George Herbert’s poem Prayer.” I love Herbert’s prayer, and reread it, b/c I didn’t recall any mention of horses. Oh, I just reread this again. Could this simply be a typo, where you are meaning “verses”? Tx for clarifying. And are you doing an online book launch?

  14. David C Brown

    Very good!
    Between Christmas (I) and Walton’s story I’m sure that you can produce something about Herbert’s horses!

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