VVP: Art 434 & Engl. 410

Website for Vision Voice and Practice: An Interdisciplinary Course in Art and Creative Writing

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Malcolm Guite

Today we were visited by Malcolm Guite, visiting campus this week as part of the CCCA's "visionary-in-residence" program. Guite, an Anglican priest, a chaplain and teacher at Cambridge University, read some poems for us, and he also shared some of the collaborative projects he's been part of. Guite is a prolific sonneteer, and he shared with us a series of sonnets he made in collaboration with drawings and paintings by Adam Boulter, set in the holy land. Guite ended his time with us today by reading the following poem, while projecting an early watercolor "sketch" of the finished painting, below. Both poem and painting were inspired by camps in Jordan filled with refugees who have fled or been driven from their homes by ISIS.

     Christ Amongst the Refugees

     That fearful road of weariness and want,
     Through unforgiving heat and hate, ends here;
     We narrow sand-blown eyes to scan this scant
     And tented city outside Syria.
     He fled with us when everything was wrecked
     As Nazarene was blazoned on our door,
     Walked with the damaged and the derelict
     To where these tents are ranked and massed, foursquare
     Against the desert, with a different blazon;
     We trace the letters: UNHCR,
     As dark smoke looms behind a cruel horizon.
     Christ stands with us and withstands, where we are,
     His high commission, as a refugee;
     To pitch his tent in our humanity.

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