The Cambridge poet Malcolm Guite paid a short visit to Toronto at the beginning of April which –as it turns out – is poetry month. He was in Toronto under the auspices of Image Journal. IMAGO was invited to host an evening with him and we partnered with Wycliffe College to craft an evening of conversation with Malcolm on “poetry for the journey”.
It took place on April 1 in the elegant Leonard Hall. He gave a talk, read poetry – his own and that of others and then we sat down for an interview. An audience of over 120 listened in rapt attention and then joined the conversation with questions. Malcolm drew us in through an insightful discussion of Seamus Heaney’s poem The Rain Stick. Guite advocates that humans are capable of double vision: what the senses perceive and what we discern in things that is beyond the senses. His commitment to the poetic is motivated in part by the belief that modern Western culture has lost vision and poetry is one way to bring some redress and balance to how we see the world and ourselves. For Guite poetry can serve as a mirror to help us see ourselves but also as a window that allows, even enables us to see through and beyond mere appearances. Below a poem for Trinity Sunday by Malcolm Guite from his fine collection Sounding the Seasons.
In the Beginning, not in time or space,
But in the quick before both space and time,
In Life, in Love, in co-inherent Grace,
In three in one and one in three, in rhyme,
In music, in the whole creation story,
In His own image, His imagination,
The Triune Poet makes us for His glory,
And makes us each the other’s inspiration.
He calls us out of darkness, chaos, chance,
To improvise a music of our own,
To sing the chord that calls us to the dance,
Three notes resounding from a single tone,
To sing the End in whom we all begin;
Our God beyond, beside us and within.