In the midst of November gloom I have just had a very encouraging email. It was from my publishers at Canterbury Press and contained the comments on my poetry which they intend to use as ‘blurbs’ on the back of the book. They had sent advanced copies to various people for comment, and happily all of them have written back with real encouragement and the kind of comment that will, I hope, wing the book on its way. I am grateful for all these endorsements and particularly grateful that Rowan Williams, in the midst of so many more pressing matters, found the time to read and comment on these poems, What a remarkable man he is!
So here are the comments and endorsements from which the cover ‘blurb’s will be taken:
‘Malcolm Guite knows exactly how to use the sonnet form to powerful effect. These pieces have the economy and pungency of all good sonnets, and again and again, offer deep resources for prayer and meditation to the reader. In his own words, ‘brevity, clarity, concentration and a capacity for paradox’ are typical of the best sonnet sequences, and all those qualities are to be found here.’ Rowan Williams, Archbishop of Canterbury
‘Each of Malcolm Guite’s sonnets is like a Celtic knot, with threads of devotion and theology cunningly woven into shining emblems of truth and beauty. Whether spoken aloud or read silently, these poems speak to mind and soul.’ Luci Shaw, poet and author of Harvesting Fog and Breath for the Bones: Art, Imagination and Spirit
‘I can hardly overstate my enthusiasm for this work. The poetry is masterful, the insights breathtaking. At a time when language has all but lost its magic, and the church her confidence, Sounding the Seasons rekindles the belly’s fire and reminds us that this adventure is both noble and far from over.’ Steve Bell, singer-songwriter
‘The sonnets are made to be read out loud to help us experience the sacred year in a renewed way. His aim is to be appropriate, up-to-date and focused. His poetry is deeply informed by knowledge of the Christian faith; and he brings his skill with the sonnet to communicate this knowledge with gentleness, accuracy and flashes of fire.’ Sebastian Barker FRSL, poet and author of The Erotics of God and many other volumes of poetry
Malcolm Guite’s poetic sequence is fresh and wholly contemporary, yet richly rooted in tradition. Using the sonnet form with absolute naturalness as he traces the year and its festivals, he offers the reader – whether Christian or not – profound and beautiful utterance which is patterned but also refreshingly spontaneous. Sounding the Seasons is an important poetic event, and one that invites readers to share both celebration and soul-searching.