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A Sonnet for Palm Sunday – By Malcolm Guite

April 12, 2014

I first came across the sonnets of Malcolm Guite a year ago, and am deeply grateful for the gift they have been in my life. Among my favourites are his sonnets for Holy Week and Easter, which I’ll be posting on this blog throughout the next seven days.

Here’s the introduction Malcolm gives these sonnets on his blog:

We come now, with Palm Sunday, to the beginning of Holy Week and in the sonnets that follow I have explored the idea that what was happening ‘out there’ and ‘back then’ as Christ entered Jerusalem is also happening ‘in here’ and ‘right now’. There is a Jerusalem of the heart. Our inner life also has its temple and palaces, its places of corruption, its gardens of rest, its seat of judgement.

In the sequence of sonnets which begins today I invite you to walk with Christ, and let him walk with you on both an outer and an inner journey that leads to the cross and beyond.

As before I am grateful to Margot Krebs Neale for the evocative images that accompany these poems. Of the image at the beginning of this post she writes:

– Who stands in the eye of the camera? behind that gate?
– The Saviour? or me looking out and seeing in my fellow being an incarnation of the Saviour?

and for the image below she says: ‘this wax the child is melting could symbolise this resistance which becomes the source, the stock of the light that comes from us.’



Palm Sunday

Jesus and Donkey

Now to the gate of my Jerusalem,
The seething holy city of my heart,
The Saviour comes. But will I welcome him?
Oh crowds of easy feelings make a start;
They raise their hands, get caught up in the singing,
And think the battle won. Too soon they’ll find
The challenge, the reversal he is bringing
Changes their tune. I know what lies behind
The surface flourish that so quickly fades;
Self-interest, and fearful guardedness,
The hardness of the heart, its barricades,
And at the core, the dreadful emptiness
Of a perverted temple. Jesus, come
Break my resistance and make me your home.


malcom-guiteMalcolm Guite is a poet, priest, and singer-songwriter. This sonnet from his book Sounding the Seasons: Seventy Sonnets for the Christian Year, and this excerpt from his blog, are reproduced with permission. On Malcolm’s blog, there’s an audio recording of his reading this sonnet.

The picture of Our Lord in this posting is not from Malcolm’s blog.


Embedded below is a video of Malcolm Guite and his friend Steve Bell in June 2013. A reminder that our Choir will be performing with Steve at our 10 a.m. Service on Palm Sunday (via the magic of our sound system), as they share his song, “Ride on, King Jesus.”

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