The fifth poem in my ‘corona’ on the psalms

Continuing my new series of poetic reflections and meditations on the psalms, I come to psalm 5, which, rather astonishingly, opens with the words:

  1. PONDER my words, O Lord: consider my meditation

It is one thing for us to ponder on the many layers of meaning in the sacred words of scripture, quite another to be told that the Lord ponders on our words with even greater attention. He takes my own tentative voicing of who and how I am and hears it so deeply that he knows more of my heart than I do myself. And that insight was the starting point for this poem. But there were other phrases of the psalm that spoke to me as I prayed it: that I am called into God’s house, a place of healing, where our blood-thirstiness is met with ‘the multitude of his mercies’. This psalm is also special because it gave words to that beautiful anthem ‘Lead me lord, lead me in thy righteousness, make my way plain before my face.’ I loved too that the last word of this psalm is ‘shield’, and as one who is to some extent in this crisis being shielded, I decided to bring that word in at the beginning of my poem. You may like to read psalm 5 in the Coverdale translation, which I am using,  either before or after you read or listen to the poem. As in all this sequence this poem begins with the last line of the previous poem and lends its last line to the next.

Here are links to the earlier poems in this series:   III and IV  II I

As always you can hear me read it by clicking on the title or the ‘play’ button

V Verba mea auribus

Safe in the love of one who’ll never part,

Of one whose kindness is itself a shield

Who understands the deep things of my heart

 

Better than I can ever do, I yield

Myself and my perplexities to him

And in his house of mercy I am healed

 

Healed of this world’s bloodthirstiness, its grim

Deceptions, all its weary wickedness,

The death-speak of its tyrants, as they hymn

 

The idols of their vanity, the emptiness

Of endless purchases, all washed away

Until my sight is cleansed, his righteousness

 

Makes my way plain, and leads me through the play

Of early morning light, to worship him

Whose mercy wakes me at the break of day,

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8 Comments

Filed under imagination, Poems

8 responses to “The fifth poem in my ‘corona’ on the psalms

  1. ROWLES, Lyn

    Dear Malcolm

    I have been so blessed by your posts over the years and continue to be inspired and encouraged by your poems and writings.

    I would very much like to support you but don’t like to use online payment methods (call me old-fashioned!). I can happily send a cheque or happy to arrange a BACs transfer (I go that far!). If that is agreeable to you, could you kindly provide a postal address or relevant details, please?

    May you know the Lord’s favour each and every day.

    Lyn

    Lyn Rowles MBE
    PA to Sinead O’Sullivan
    Director
    Career Learning, Analysis and Skills Directorate
    Further & Higher Education Group
    Tel: 07388 372202

    Current working pattern: Mon-Wed & Fri 07:15-16:00; Thu 08:00-12:00

    [cid:image003.jpg@01D629EB.E7B042B0]

    • malcolmguite

      Dear Lyn thanks
      This has appeared as a comment on the blog page rather than an email to me. So I don’t have your email. Could you email me on malcolmguite at gmail dot com thanks

  2. Evangeline Magee DeMaster

    “…the emptiness // Of endless purchases, all washed away // Until my sight is cleansed” I hope I think of these words every time I go into a store or browse Amazon!! Wonderful quatrain! So to the point!! Thanks.

  3. Pingback: The 6th poem in my corona on the psalms | Malcolm Guite

  4. Beautiful.

    One “Who understands the deep things of my heart

    Better than I can ever do, I yield

    Myself and my perplexities to him”

    And this too:

    “his righteousness

    Makes my way plain, and leads me through the play

    Of early morning light, to worship him

    Whose mercy wakes me at the break of day”

    Lovely to see how this huge undertaking is spurring you to such creative and sensitive writing.

    Best wishes,
    Michael

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