In my sequence of poems responding to the psalter we have come to psalm 27, the great psalm of vision and illumination, one of my all time favourites, indeed a favourite for many people. It’s not hard to see why. From the opening line: ‘THE Lord is my light and my salvation ; whom then shall I fear: the Lord is the strength of my life; of whom then shall I be afraid?’ to its beautiful motif of seeking earnestly for the hidden face of God:’ My heart hath talked of thee, Seek ye my face: Thy face, Lord, will I seek’, this psalm seems to lead us deep into the mysteries of God himself and promises to transform our vision of the world. It is also an invitation to trust in God, as its final words proclaim.
As the psalm has meant so much to me personally I found that it drew from me a poem in which I finally expressed, as fully as I can, my own spiritual vision, such as it is; my sense that God is always present shimmering behind the veil of things, and that he is calling us constantly through that veil, to trust ourselves to him and seek his face, and that until then we should look at the world through his eyes, allowing him to transform and renew our vision.
As usual you can hear the poem by pressing the ‘play’ button if it appears, or else by clicking on the title. For the other poems in my psalm series type the word ‘psalm’ into the search box on the right.
Oh let me see with his eyes from now on
Whose gaze on beauty makes it beautiful,
Who looks us into love and looks upon
His whole creation with a merciful
And loving eye. My heart has said of him
Seek out his face, I’ve sensed his bountiful
Presence shimmering behind the dim
Veil of things. That presence calls to me
Calls me to tremble at the brink and rim
Of lived experience, and then to free
Myself of fear. to trust him, and to dive
Right off that brink, into his mystery
Into that deep and holy sea of love
In which the living worlds all float and swim
To dare each moment’s death, that I might live.
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9 responses to “‘Seek ye my face’ A response to psalm 27”
So beautiful and perfect. Thank you.j
Agreed! Truly beautiful. Thanks, Malcolm, for all the poems on the psalms. I look forward to each update and the ultimate book when it’s complete.
Many thanks Tiffany I think beauty is the missing element in some contemporary poetry so I am trying in my own small way to restore it
This is utterly beautiful, Malcolm, with echoes of St John of the Cross’s lines in the Spiritual Canticle ‘this mercy set me free, held in love’s embrace,
to lift my eyes, adoring to your face.’
Your poem expresses, for me, the essence of what prayer is- coming under the loving gaze of God.
Thanks so much I’m so glad you found this beautiful as this particular poem was very important for me
Thank you very well written.