There’s been a huge amount written about George Herbert’s poetry.  You might care to try some of these sites:

[more to follow]

One of Herbert’s richest, most densely written, pieces is the sonnet ‘Prayer’:

Prayer, the Church’s banquet, Angels’ age,
God’s breath in man returning to his birth,
The soul in paraphrase, heart in pilgrimage,
The Christian plummet sounding heav’n and earth;

Engine against th’ Almighty, sinner’s tower,
Reversed thunder, Christ-side-piercing spear,
The six-days’-world transposing in an hour,
A kind of tune, which all things hear and fear;

Softness, and peace, and joy, and love, and bliss,
Exalted manna, gladness of the best,
Heaven in ordinary, man well dressed,
The milky way, the bird of Paradise,

Church bells beyond the stars heard, the soul’s blood,
The land of spices, something understood.


A number of books have been published in the last few years about the poem above:  Christopher Bryant’s ‘The Heart in Pilgrimage’ and Dennis Lennon’s ‘Turning the Diamond’ are devoted to an exposition of the poem, while Gonville ffrench-Beytagh also expounds it, albeit more briefly, in the first part of ‘A Glimpse of Glory’.



Herberts prose-work A Priest to the Temple or The Country Parson is a delightful manual for rural ministry... [to be continued]   ’‘“”–


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