Come to the place where every breath is praise …
So begins the first line of Psalm 1: Beautus vir qui non abiit by Malcolm Guite. His book, “David’s Crown: Sounding the Psalms” is the best book I’ve bought this year.
The book is a collection of 150 poems written in response to the 150 Psalms. It’s an exquisite meditation that connects ancient prayers to our current reality in poetic form.
Most of us reading this blog will be aware that the Psalms has always been the prayer book of God’s people. What I didn’t realise was that the Psalms can be read as a complete cycle that form a never-ending circular pattern, the effect of which, I think, deepens our capacity to trust God in all circumstances of life.
To highlight this pattern, Guite takes inspiration from John Donne, weaving each poem together so that the last line of each poem becomes the first line of the next. For example, Psalm 1 ends with the line, “Then let the chaff of life just blow away” which in turn becomes the first line of the Psalm 2 poem.
I hope that this tiny peak into “David’s Crown” whets your appetite to explore a book that has had a profound impact on my soul this year. My prayer life and soul-health has been so enriched by the gift of this work.