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Poets and playwrights

26th February 2023: WMC
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From the Manse....

I so very often find inspiration and meaning in the words of authors, playwrights and poets. Recently, I have been made aware of Ayodeji Malcolm Guite an English poet, singer-songwriter, Anglican priest, and academic.

I was struck by his Sonnet 'Ash Wednesday' On his website (malcolmguite.wordpress.com) he explains his inspiration behind this sonnet written some 12 years ago now.

He writes; "As I set about the traditional task of burning the remnants of last Palm Sunday's palm crosses in order to make the ash which would bless and sign our repentance on Ash Wednesday, I was suddenly struck by the way both the fire and the ash were signs not only of our personal mortality and our need for repentance and renewal but also signs of the wider destruction our sinfulness inflicts upon God's world and on our fellow creatures, on the whole web of life into which God has woven us and for which He also cares."

Ash Wednesday

Receive this cross of ash upon your brow,
Brought from the burning of Palm Sunday's cross.
The forests of the world are burning now
And you make late repentance for the loss.
But all the trees of God would clap their hands
The very stones themselves would shout and sing
If you could covenant to love these lands
And recognise in Christ their Lord and king.

He sees the slow destruction of those trees,
He weeps to see the ancient places burn,
And still you make what purchases you please,
And still to dust and ashes you return.
But Hope could rise from ashes even now
Beginning with this sign upon your brow.

May the poets and the artists, the dreamers and the prophets, continue to speak to us all this Lententide and may God give us ears and hearts to hear and act!

Love and God Bless


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