Mary Magdalene: A Sonnet

The 22nd of July is Mary Magdalene’s day, and, returning to my sequence of sonnets written in response to the church year, I post this for her. As usual you can hear the poem by clicking on its title or on the ‘play’ button.

This sonnet is 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 . It is 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. As usual you can hear me read the poem by pressing the ‘play’ button if it appears, or else by clicking on the title.

Mary Magdalene

Men called you light so as to load you down,
And burden you with their own weight of sin,
A woman forced to  cover and contain
Those seven devils sent by Everyman.
But one man set you free and took your part
One man knew and loved you to the core
The broken alabaster of your heart
Revealed to Him alone a hidden door,
Into a garden where the fountain sealed,
Could flow at last for him in healing tears,
Till, in another garden, he revealed
The perfect Love that cast out all your fears,
And quickened you  with love’s own sway and swing,
As light and lovely as the news you bring.


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Filed under imagination

9 responses to “Mary Magdalene: A Sonnet

  1. lynndmorrissey

    Powerful poem, and redemptive. It seems particularly apropos in this time of revelation of church scandals and the Me Too movement. Sinning on our own is difficult enough, but so often our sins weight others and lead them to sin. And then there are those sins we feel too ashamed to admit in the church, because of the self-righteous reactions of Christians (I know this, having had an abortion in my twenties as a brand-new Christian). But this too I know: No sin is too great to be confessed, and no sin is too great to be forgiven and healed by Christ. Where sin abounds, grace does all the more. And that is the holy, scandalous truth of it.
    Thank you for sharing, Malcom.

  2. Mary Martha Guy

    Beautiful painting of Mary in the garden with Jesus, at that touching moment when she mistakes him for the gardener. He calls her by name, as he calls all of us.
    Can you tell me who the artist is? The style seems early 16thC but not quite.
    Many thanks.
    Mary Martha

  3. Pingback: Mary Magdalene: A Sonnet – Malcolm Guite | Pastor Michael Moore's Blog

  4. Thank you for this lovely Sonnet, Malcolm! Gratefully shared on my blog ❤️

  5. Margaret

    The sonnet is beautiful, but seems to reflect the Mary accused of prostitution and the Mary who washed Christ’s feet with tears of repentance and anointed them with expensive perfume. I thought that theologians had “redeemed” Mary Magdalene from these mistaken identities and now believe she was a wealthy woman who followed Christ and provided financial support for his mission.

  6. Pingback: With Thee Is The Well Of Life: A Response To Psalm 36 | Malcolm Guite

  7. Sandy Beeman

    Thank you for giving us such joy, Malcolm Guite!

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