Thanksgiving: a sonnet

thanksgivingThere is no feast of Thanksgiving in either the British national or church calendars, but it seems to me a good thing for any nation to set aside a day for the gratitude which is in truth the root of every other virtue. So on  American Thanksgiving, I am re-posting here  an Englishman’s act of thanksgiving.

I am conscious of what a poignant Thanksgiving this will be for my American friends as necessary restrictions prevented them from gathering in large family groups last year and some may still be constrained now, though that sad restraint is itself a great act of love, and in this case physical distance is itself, strangely, the sign of emotional closeness. I’m also conscious that in amongst the thanks for ‘mere survival’ is lament and grief for those who have left this world in this strange time. But lament itself can become part of thanksgiving for their lives.

As always you can hear the poem by clicking on the play button if it appears or on the title.

This sonnet comes from my sequence Sounding the Seasons published by Canterbury Press The book is available in North america from Steve Bell here, or Amazon here. Since we don’t keep thanksgiving I have made it part of a mini-sequence of three centred on the feast of All Saints, which we have recently celebrated. The image that follows the poem is by Margot Krebs Neale


Thanksgiving starts with thanks for mere survival,
Just to have made it through another year
With everyone still breathing. But we share
So much beyond the outer roads we travel;
Our interweavings on a deeper level,
The modes of life embodied souls can share,
The unguessed blessings of our being here,
The warp and weft that no one can unravel.

So I give thanks for our deep coinherence
Inwoven in the web of God’s own grace,
Pulling us through the grave and gate of death.
I thank him for the truth behind appearance,
I thank him for his light in every face,
I thank him for you all, with every breath.

Image by Margot Krebs Neale

If you would like to encourage and support this blog, you might like, on occasion, (not every time of course!) to pop in and buy me a cup of coffee. Clicking on this banner will take you to a page where you can do so, if you wish. But please do not feel any obligation!

Buy Me A Coffee


Filed under Poems

17 responses to “Thanksgiving: a sonnet

  1. Sally-anne Lomas

    Very lovely. Thank you on this beautiful November morning in Norfolk for all your wise and loving words.

  2. That was wonderful! Thank you! Though you’re across the pond, you can always celebrate with thankfulness in your heart. Many blessings to you. Jason Canady

    Sent from my iPhone


  3. Thank YOU Malcolm. I am refreshed by your reminder to appreciate our survival and continued breathing for one more year. _/\_

  4. Charis Varnadore

    Although there are some of us who do not celebrate this holiday, I thank God numerous times daily for his Love, Grace, and Mercy, for everyday within the Grace of God upon creation is a quite Holy day… I thank God that I have discovered your Blog and Poetry, as well as the lectures, conversations, and sermons that are so readily available on You Tube. God bless all…Charis

  5. From America, our many thanks for you, Malcolm!

  6. JD Blom

    Wonderful poem; I loved it. I have been working on writing sonnet’s. I have never done it before but it is so enjoyable. I just loved the deep meaning in yours. Also, thanks for the audio

  7. Carolyn Curtis

    Malcolm, this is so lovely and meaningful to me as an American of English descent that it has brought me to tears. Thank you, dear one, for sharing this. I am thankful for your gift of penning sonnets. I am also thankful to God for His allowing me to call you my friend. Blessings to you, dear Malcolm…

    Carolyn Curtis
    Author | Speaker
    817.991.7602 mobile

  8. Thankful for you, Malcolm! Patricia in Austin. TX


  9. Leah Boden

    Hi Malcolm,

    Thank you for the gift of these beautiful blog posts.

    I was just wondering, what is the best way to contact you about a possible podcast interview please?

    Kindest regards, Leah Boden

  10. So nice of you. Thank you!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.