Tag Archives: Faye Hall

Three New Endeavours!

I thought I’d take a moment to let readers of this blog know about three new endeavours that are already in hand or shortly coming to fruition.

A New Column!

The first is that since the early summer I have been contributing a weekly column to the Church Times which appears on the back page as ‘Poet’s Corner’. It is the successor to Ronald Blythe’s wonderful and long-running column ‘the Word from Wormingford’, which was series of glimpses and reflections of life and faith in a small corner of Suffolk from the pen of one of Britain’s greatest rural writers. It was an honour to be chosen as his successor and thought I can’t really ‘follow’ him, I have been doing my best to enjoy and master the 500 word essay as a form of prose poem. The column appears in print every Friday but is also available on the Church Times Website. A full read of the CT requires a subscription but you can read two or three articles each week without a subscription, so readers of this blog might care to dip into that column. Here are some links to a few of the pieces I’ve written so far:

Autumn Leaves

Samuel Johnson’s Cat

A Moment in a Railway Carriage

Upstream

 

A New Book!

My second endeavour has been work on a new anthology for Canterbury Press, called Love, Remember, and I am happy to say that this is now completed and the book itself should be out in November. It is an anthology of forty poems chosen to help the reader give voice to lamentation and grief but also to make the journey through that grief, towards hope, never letting go of love. It is intended as a kind of antidote to the apparently facile denials of Henry Scott Holland’s ‘Death is Nothing at All’. I say apparently facile because, as I discovered when I wrote the book, the famous Henry Scott Holland passage, often used at funerals is in fact torn out of context from a much greater and more grounded sermon. a sermon that faces the reality of grief and death, rather than denying it and so can offer in the end a greater and truer comfort. There will be an official Launch of my new book in Heffers in Cambridge on December 14th, but it should be available from the publisher, from amazon, and in shops before then. You can book for the book launch Here

 

Another New Book!!

Finally, the third endeavour is not really mine at all but is the work of the artist Faye Hall. She has made a truly beautiful book out of my sequence of poems ‘Seven Whole Days’ with stunning pictures for almost every line. You can see a video about it Here

North American can also order copies from Faye in time for Christmas Here 

If you use the code ‘sevenpoet’ on Faye’s site you can get a 25% discount.

There is  now an Amazon UK Page for the Book  so you can order it from the UK

I also hope to have some copies available before Christmas for UK buyers so email me at malcolmguite@gmail.com if you’re interested

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Saying the Names; a Poem and a Painting

Saying the Names by Faye Hall, from a photo by Lancia Smith

The painting above is one of an sequence of three by the remarkable Canadian artist Faye Hall. This one was made in response to my poem Saying the Names, which I give below. Saying The Names celebrates the remnant fishing fleet in the little Northumbrian harbour town of Amble. The poem chants the lovely names of these vessels as part of a meditation on the power of language, of naming itself, and as an evocation of the unique atmosphere and history of that part of England. Faye has created a remarkable work, using a photopraph by Lancia Smith for the portraiture and encorporating lines of my hand-written text for the poem, in different scales, into the fabric of the painting, so that my words about sky and sea and light become part of her evocation of those same things in colour and texture. Faye has written an article about these paintings, and her collaboration with Lancia and with me in the Mennonite Brethren Herald here, but she has also given me permission to post the photo of her painting here on my blog, where I thought it would be good to set it alongside the poem and also a recording of my reading it.

In fact this is not the first artistic colaboration inspired by this particular poem. It was picked up in 2002, shortly after it was first published, by Kevin Flanagan and his Riprap Quartet and they played a jazz setting of it in the royal Festival Hall. we have since performed it together on several occasions and, fter the text of the poem I will embed a youtube video of one such performance. (If you are in or near Cambridge and would like to hear Riprap, and also have a chance to hear the great Beat writer and biographer Gerry Nicosia, then do come to the Unitarian church for a jazz-poetry concert on 8th September at 8pm. full details here.)

As usual you can hear the poem by clicking on the ‘play’ button or the title.

Saying the Names

Dawn over Amble, and along the coast
light on the tide flows to Northumberland,
silvers the scales of fishes freshly caught
and glowing in their boxes on the dock,
shivers the rainbow sheen on drops of diesel,
and lights, at last, the North Sea fishing fleet.
Tucked into harbour here their buoyant lines
lift to the light on plated prows their names,
the ancient names picked out in this year’s paint:
Providence, Bold Venture, Star Divine
are first along the quay-side. Fruitful Bough
has stemmed the tides to bring her harvest in,
Orcadian Mist and Sacred Heart, Aspire,
their names are numinous, a found poem.
Those Bible-burnished phrases live and lift
into the brightening tide of morning light
and beg to be recited, chanted out,
for names are incantations, mysteries
made manifest like ships on the horizon.
Eastward their long line tapers towards dawn
and ends at last with Freedom, Radiant Morn.

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Filed under imagination, literature, Music, paintings, Poems