‘Seek ye my face’ A response to psalm 27

his bountiful presence shimmering

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.

XXVII Dominus illuminatio

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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7 Comments

Filed under christianity, Poems

7 responses to “‘Seek ye my face’ A response to psalm 27

  1. jenny Tod

    So beautiful and perfect. Thank you.j

  2. Tiffany Martin

    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.

    • malcolmguite

      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

  3. fiona campbell

    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.
    Fiona

    • malcolmguite

      Thanks so much I’m so glad you found this beautiful as this particular poem was very important for me

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