A sun-warmed sapling, opening each leaf,

My soul unfolded in your quickening ray.

“The inner brought the outer into life,”


I found the light within the light of day,

The Consolation of Philosophy,

Turning a page in Cambridge, found my way,


My mind delighting in discovery,

As love of learning turned to learning love

And explanation deepened mystery,


Drawing me out beyond what I could prove

Towards the next adventure. Every chance

Discovery a sweet come-hither wave,


Philosophy a kind of circle dance,

Weaving between the present and the past,

The whole truth present in a single glance


That looked on me and everything in Christ!

Threefold beholding, look me into being,

Make me in Love again from first to last,


And let me still partake your holy seeing

Beyond the shifting shadow of the earth;

Minute particulars, eternal in their being,


Forming themselves into a single path

From heaven to earth and back again to heaven,

All patterned and perfected, from each birth


To each fruition, and all freely given

To glory in and give the glory back!

Call me again to set out from this haven


And follow truth along her shining track.


Malcolm Guite is a poet and priest, working as Chaplain of Girton College, Cambridge. He also teaches for the Divinity Faculty and for the Cambridge Theological Federation, and lectures widely in England and North America on Theology and Literature. He is the author of What do Christians Believe? (Granta 2006), Faith Hope and Poetry (Ashgate 2010, paperback 2012), Sounding the Seasons; Seventy Sonnets for the Christian Year (Canterbury 2012), The Singing Bowl; Collected Poems (Canterbury 2013), The Word in the Wilderness (Canterbury 2014), Waiting on the Word (Canterbury 2015), and Parable and Paradox (Canterbury Press 2016). He contributed the Chapter on Lewis as a poet to the Cambridge Companion to CS Lewis (CUP 2010)


  • Buy An Unexpected Journal


    This work is part of Celebrating Planet Narnia (Advent 2018). The issue is available in both print and digital format (Kindle, Nook, and epub.)

    You can purchase your own copy of this edition at your favorite online retailer, or subscribe to An Unexpected Journal and save.

Citation Information

Malcom Guite. “Circle Dance.” An Unexpected Journal 1, no. 4. (Advent 2018): 55.

Direct Link: https://anunexpectedjournal.com/the-circle-dance/


From Malcolm Guite, The Singing Bowl (London: Canterbury Press, 2013), 122-123.

Spread the love