A Sonnet for Easter Dawn

The Lord is Risen! He is risen indeed Alleluia!

Heres is an extra ‘fifteenth’ sonnet for Easter Morning, which I dedicate to my friend Mary who asked me to write it, and to the memory of her husband Gavin. May he rest in peace and rise in glory.

Later today I will publish a new Easter poem, written for this strange new Lockdown Easter, but this completes the sonnet series I have been posting throughout Holy Week.

This sonnet, and the others I have been 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 shortly to be available in Canada via Steve Bell‘s Signpost Music. The book is now also out on Kindle. Please feel free to make use of these sonnets in church services and to copy and share them. If you can mention the book from which they are taken that would be great.

I am grateful to Oliver Neale for permission to use the image above. as always you can hear the sonnet by clicking on the ‘play’ button or on the title.

XV Easter Dawn

He blesses every love which weeps and grieves

And now he blesses hers who stood and wept

And would not be consoled, or leave her love’s

Last touching place, but watched as low light crept

Up from the east. A sound behind her stirs

A scatter of bright birdsong through the air.

She turns, but cannot focus through her tears,

Or recognise the Gardener standing there.

She hardly hears his gentle question ‘Why,

Why are you weeping?’, or sees the play of light

That brightens as she chokes out her reply

‘They took my love away, my day is night’

And then she hears her name, she hears Love say

The Word that turns her night, and ours, to Day.


Filed under imagination

15 responses to “A Sonnet for Easter Dawn

  1. Susan Waters

    I was delighted to hear your poem read at the BBC programme from King’s College Chapel yesterday. Thank you for sharing that was inspired by a friend’s bereavement.

  2. Agnes Groves

    Rob and I enjoyed listening to this poem being read at Kings yesterday evening. I just wish it had been you reading it Malcolm. I will never forget your kindness for reading one of your poems at Ian’s service of thanksgiving. The Lord is risen.

  3. You capture the most tender moment in the resurrection and bring me to tears again. Thank you.

  4. I too rejoiced to hear this sonnet read during the King’s College service yesterday.I also read it as part of the ‘Introit moment’ at the start of our Pool
    Mission Area Easter Morning Service ( St Asaph Diocese); it was preluded by ‘Within our darkest night’ – Taize.
    Thank you.

  5. philippe.garmy@okstate.edu

    A beautifully crafted sonnet that caresses your soul and calls us all by name…here I am, Lord. Show me the way forward…

  6. Gerrit Dawson

    I’m just about to go preach this lovely story from John 20 to an iphone. Thank you for preparing my heart, for taking me to that intimate encounter with the one who turns the tears. May i present him as personally as this poem!

  7. And then she hears her name, she hears Love say
    The Word that turns her night, and ours, to Day.
    ~ Malcolm Guite

    Her name. Spoken with recognition that resonates to her soul.
    Her insides know before her outsides can respond. “Rabbi.”

    Oh Easter morn, the first words that my husband and I exchange are “He is Risen.” and “He is Risen indeed.”
    Thank you Malcolm

  8. pokeyone

    Malcolm, this poem brims with the presence of the Holy Spirit – such light. Deepest thanks for the consolation this will bring.

  9. Laura Mazza-Dixon

    These two Easter poems are ones I will cherish and memorize, by default, after repeated listenings this evening. I have already begun to send them to friends and family, ministers, poets, counselors,nurses and doctors who will find solace and strength in them, as I have. Many thanks for these gifts from your heart.

  10. bgulland72

    lovely light & sound imagery

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