Prayer (I)

By George Herbert 1593–1633 George Herbert
Prayer the church's banquet, angel's 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 tow'r,
         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 drest,
The milky way, the bird of Paradise,
         Church-bells beyond the stars heard, the soul's blood,
         The land of spices; something understood.

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Poet George Herbert 1593–1633

POET’S REGION Wales

SCHOOL / PERIOD 17th Century

Subjects Christianity, Faith & Doubt, God & the Divine, Birth & Birthdays, Living, Religion

Poetic Terms Sonnet, Imagery, Allusion, Metaphor

 George  Herbert

Biography

Nestled somewhere within the Age of Shakespeare and the Age of Milton is George Herbert. There is no Age of Herbert: he did not consciously fashion an expansive literary career for himself, and his characteristic gestures, insofar as these can be gleaned from his poems and other writings, tend to be careful self-scrutiny rather than rhetorical pronouncement; local involvement rather than broad social engagement; and complex, . . .

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Christianity, Faith & Doubt, God & the Divine, Birth & Birthdays, Living, Religion

POET’S REGION Wales

SCHOOL / PERIOD 17th Century

Poetic Terms Sonnet, Imagery, Allusion, Metaphor

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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