Sarah Kift interviewing Malcolm Guite

Because We Hunkered Down

Malcolm GuiteAudio Resources, Blog, Depression, Self Care


“Because We Hunkered Down” is from Malcolm Guite’s 2016 collection, Parable and Paradox, and is featured in The Sanctuary Course. As we hunker down, may this poem offer you a moment of hope. This is a season, and we will get through it together. 


These bleak and freezing seasons may mean grace

When they are memory. In time to come

When we speak truth, then they will have their place,

Telling the story of our journey home,

Through dark December and stark January

With all its disappointments, through the murk

And dreariness of frozen February,

When even breathing seemed unwelcome work.

Because through all of these we held together,

Because we shunned the impulse to let go,

Because we hunkered down through our dark weather,

And trusted to the soil beneath the snow,

Slowly, slowly, turning a cold key,

Spring will unlock our hearts and set us free.

Malcolm Guite is a poet-priest and Chaplain of Girton College, Cambridge. He teaches for the Divinity Faculty in Cambridge and lectures widely in England and North America on Theology and Literature. 

His publications include 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: a poem a day for Lent, Holy week and Easter (Canterbury 2014), Waiting on the Word (Canterbury 2015); Parable and Paradox (Canterbury 2016); Mariner: A Voyage with Samuel Taylor Coleridge (Hodder 2017); and After Prayer (Canterbury 2019).

You can find more readings of his poetry on his website.