Malcolm Guite reads another of his poems during KindlingsFest 2014. The 9th sonnet on his sequence of 15 sonnets for the stations of the cross, taken from Sounding the Seasons: Seventy sonnets for Christian year. This sonnet is called ‘Jesus falls for the third time’, and deals with the experience of acute depression. Here is the full sonnet:
He weeps with you and with you he will stay
When all your staying power has run out
You can't go on, you go on anyway.
He stumbles just beside you when the doubt
That always haunts you, cuts you down at last
And takes away the hope that drove you on.
This is the third fall and it hurts the worst,
This long descent through darkness to depression
From which there seems no rising and no will
To rise, or breathe or bear your own heart beat.
Twice you survived; this third will surely kill,
And you could almost wish for that defeat
Except that in the cold hell where you freeze
You find your God beside you on his knees.