Thursday, April 14, 2016

An Introduction to Poet and Songwriter Malcom Guite

The written word waits quietly for us and I so appreciate the "friends" I have made solely through the immense window of their words page after page.  I met a new friend of words - Malcom Guite- this last month whose words sing plenty right off the page...and yet he is so generous as to also publish an audio file of his reading his and other poetry on his blog as well.

The other reader of our household has been leaving his paperback Penguin classic The Portable Dante 
in that room where one is sometimes wont to sit and so I had just been dabbling in a bit of Dante's  "Inferno"  before I came upon Malcom Guite's verse, Dante and the Companioned Journey 2: through the Gate.

 In his introduction Mr. Guite  explains, "So Dante begins again, accompanied by Virgil and they come to the very gate of Hell, with its famous inscription ‘Abandon Hope All Ye Who Enter Here’! "
But they don’t abandon hope, and that is the whole point. It is hope that leads and draws them on, hope inspired by love. 

This poem is from his collection  The Singing Bowl  published by Canterbury Press and is also available on Amazon 

You can read more of the poet's introduction to the poem on his blog and hear him read his poem to you.

Through the Gate
Begin the song exactly where you are
For where you are contains where you have been
And holds the vision of your final sphere

And do not fear the memory of sin;
There is a light that heals, and, where it falls,
Transfigures and redeems the darkest stain

Into translucent colour. Loose the veils
And draw the curtains back, unbar the doors,
Of that dread threshold where your spirit fails,

The hopeless gate that holds in all the  fears
That haunt your shadowed city, fling it wide
And open to the light that finds and fares

Through the dark pathways  where you run and  hide,
through all the alleys of your riddled heart,
As pierced and open as His wounded side.

Open the map to Him and make a start,
And down the dizzy spirals, through the dark
His light will go before you, let Him chart

And name and heal. Expose the hidden ache
To him, the stinging fires and smoke that blind
Your judgement, carry you away, the mirk

And muted gloom in which you cannot find
The love that you once thought worth dying for.
Call Him to all you cannot call to mind

He comes to harrow Hell and now to your
Well guarded fortress let His love descend.
The icy ego at your frozen core

Can hear His call at last. Will you respond?