Thanksgiving: a sonnet

thanksgivingThere is no feast of Thanksgiving in either the British national or church calendars, but it seems to me a good thing for any nation to set aside a day for the gratitude which is in truth the root of every other virtue. So on the eve of American Thanksgiving, I am re-posting here  an Englishman’s act of thanksgiving. As always you can hear the poem by clicking on the play button if it appears or on the title.

This sonnet comes from my sequence Sounding the Seasons published by Canterbury Press The book is available in North america from Steve Bell here, or Amazon here. Since we don’t keep thanksgiving I have made it part of a mini-sequence of three centred on the feast of All Saints, which we have recently celebrated. The image that follows the poem is by Margot Krebs Neale


Thanksgiving starts with thanks for mere survival,
Just to have made it through another year
With everyone still breathing. But we share
So much beyond the outer roads we travel;
Our interweavings on a deeper level,
The modes of life embodied souls can share,
The unguessed blessings of our being here,
The warp and weft that no one can unravel.

So I give thanks for our deep coinherence
Inwoven in the web of God’s own grace,
Pulling us through the grave and gate of death.
I thank him for the truth behind appearance,
I thank him for his light in every face,
I thank him for you all, with every breath.

Image by Margot Krebs Neale


Filed under Poems

5 responses to “Thanksgiving: a sonnet

  1. Pingback: Thanksgiving: a sonnet — Malcolm Guite | OUR POETRY CORNER

  2. Evangeline M. (Ruth) DeMaster

    Thank you, Malcolm Guite, for this Thanksgiving sonnet! From an America Friend.

  3. Judith

    Lovely one Malcolm, I agree there is something most noble about a people and a nation putting a day aside dedicated to Thanksgiving. In the absence of that I appreciate more your words.

  4. Bethan Scotford

    Thank you Malcolm for this sonnet; again and again you have expressed the deeper, hidden utterings of our restless souls.Every line is a truth – I am specifically drawn to ‘pulling us through the grave and gate of death; brilliant. The metaphor of the hand driven weaving machine, relentlessly interweaving the skeins of our lives into a thing that only God ‘itself’ can know in advance.; God the weaver; ‘Coinherehce’ – what a word! lovely.

    • malcolmguite

      Thanks Bethan. The word Coinherence was originally used about the Trinity but CS Lewis’s friend Charles Williams also used it to talk about the way Christians can relate to each other

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