What I'm Reading

Waiting on the Word

What am I reading? Are you ready for a surprise? I’m reading poetry!

I’m always on the lookout for new and fresh ways to reflect on the Easter season. One way I’m seeking the Lord this Easter is through reading poetry.

May I recommend Malcolm Guite’s book The Word in the Wilderness: A Poem a Day for Lent and Easter. Guite is an English pastor, poet, and musician. In this book, he has strategically selected poems from across the centuries to read for each day of Lent. What I love about his book are his brief essays explaining each poem. This is invaluable for poetry novices like myself. 

Here’s an example of a poem and Guiet’s brief insight.

I have seen the sun break through
to illuminate a small field
for a while, and gone my way
and forgotten it. But that was the
pearl of great price, the one field that had
treasure in it. I realize now
that I must give all that I have
to possess it. Life is not hurrying

on to a receding future, nor hankering after
an imagined past . . .

The Bright Field by R.S. Thomas

Guilt comments that “The gospel is not about giving up and going without for its own sake; it is about making room for something wonderful. It is about clearing out the clutter, not only making the space but taking time for the kingdom. . . we must glimpse the seed, buy the field, take the time, and not lose it all by ‘hurrying by.’”

Poet Francis Mayes writes that “The art of poetry is largely the art of revisioning, in one’s own time and style, the subjects that always have concerned [us].” The gospel accounts of Lent and holy week are familiar territory to me. I need a poet to “revision in our own time and style” well known events that are easy to treat as commonplace.

Since Easter is upon us, I recommend purchasing Guite’s book of poetry on Advent:

Waiting on the Word: A poem a day for Advent, Christmas, and Epiphany. A rich feast of meditation is waiting you at the next Christmas season.

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