Ads Banner
Hot Best Seller

The Temple: The Poetry of George Herbert

Availability: Ready to download

George Herbert, a priest at Salisbury Cathedral in seventeenth-century England, is known as the author of the most famous religious poem in the English language, The Temple. This collection contains a mild modernization of Herbert's complete poems.


Compare
Ads Banner

George Herbert, a priest at Salisbury Cathedral in seventeenth-century England, is known as the author of the most famous religious poem in the English language, The Temple. This collection contains a mild modernization of Herbert's complete poems.

30 review for The Temple: The Poetry of George Herbert

  1. 5 out of 5

    Fergus

    Metaphysical Poetry! What’s that mean? Well, for the great poet T.S. Eliot, the term perfectly characterizes that moment in history when poetic writing became split into a Cartesian duality - ‘A disassociation of sensibility.’ And that, he says, happened back in the late Renaissance. I think he’s right, and I’ll use one example from this book to show you the prelapsarian (in a literary sense) genius of George Herbert. But let’s first take a look back to the early Metaphysical Poetry! What’s that mean? Well, for the great poet T.S. Eliot, the term perfectly characterizes that moment in history when poetic writing became split into a Cartesian duality - ‘A disassociation of sensibility.’ And that, he says, happened back in the late Renaissance. I think he’s right, and I’ll use one example from this book to show you the prelapsarian (in a literary sense) genius of George Herbert. But let’s first take a look back to the early Renaissance before the Reformation clicked into high gear... At that time, artists heartened back to the classical ideal of the Whole Human Being - “mens sana in corpora sano.” But the intellect was always their watchtower. So early Shakespeare is full of Eden-like natural settings in which wit ruled the roost: “It was a lover and his lass That through the green cornfields did pass In Springtime...” So, there you have it: a pastoral setting and an opportunity for risqué punchlines. But near the end of the Tudor Era, Europe started to come of age, and so while writers like Herbert stressed an Edenic sound morality and intellect - nature and wit - other authors were growing cynically sophisticated, like Donne before he was converted in his deep malaise. A deep rift had begun. Watch carefully, now, as George Herbert uses sensory images to lead you into a carefully-laid trap IN WHICH IDEAS, AND NOT FEELINGS (as in the first stanzas) STILL REIGN SUPREME - THOUGH THE CONNECTION BETWEEN THE TWO REMAINS INTACT: VIRTUE: Sweet day, so cool, so calm, so bright, The bridal of the earth and sky, The dew will weep your fall tonight For you must die. Sweet rose, whose hue angry and brave Makes the rash gazer wipe his eye, Your root is always in its grave, And you must die. Sweet spring, full of sweet days and roses, A box where sweets compacted lie, My music shows you have your closes, And all must die. Only a sweet and virtuous soul Like seasoned timber never gives, But though the whole world turns to coal Then chiefly lives. There! Did you see the Trap sprung by that strange symbol of Coal? A ‘false note’ for sure! Did you see how it took you from the Dying of sweet Bodily things into the Immortality of the Soul? Right where Herbert wants to take us - by stealth! *** When I discovered the great George Herbert - seems strange, doesn’t it, to ‘discover’ someone whose soul has been at peace for 400 years? - I was humbled! Here I was, 50 years ago, riding the merry coattails of the boisterous, rambunctious throng of ‘great writers’ who enlivened the seventeenth century with their testosterone-charged vigour - And ignoring the still, silent voices of such intelligent quietists as Herbert. He was the Jan Vermeer of Renaissance word-painting. Full of a variety of symbolic meanings, and totally free of worldliness. My hat’s off to you, dear friend and ange guardien of my youth! The still waters you were trying to lead me to were infinitely clearer, deeper and more satisfying than those tempest-tossed oceans Shakespeare & Co. so pride themselves on. Your simple faith could have guided me to a peaceful harbour, instead of straight into the midst of heretical storms of anger against countless soulless antagonists. If only I had known. But Thank Heaven I do NOW.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Becky

    Do I read a lot of poetry? I wouldn't say that I do. Perhaps two or three books per year, usually. And often those "poetry books" are poems for the very young. So reading George Herbert, in many ways, was going outside of my comfort zone. Yet, it was good for me to go outside my comfort zone in reading. I assumed--presumed--that it would be an intimidating read: at best a bit boring, at worst, incomprehensible. But I really enjoyed reading this one. I enjoyed "The Sacrifice" which is a poem wri Do I read a lot of poetry? I wouldn't say that I do. Perhaps two or three books per year, usually. And often those "poetry books" are poems for the very young. So reading George Herbert, in many ways, was going outside of my comfort zone. Yet, it was good for me to go outside my comfort zone in reading. I assumed--presumed--that it would be an intimidating read: at best a bit boring, at worst, incomprehensible. But I really enjoyed reading this one. I enjoyed "The Sacrifice" which is a poem written from the point of view of Jesus Christ. It has a refrain of "Was ever grief like mine?" and it would be a timely read for Lent and Easter. (Another timely read would be "Good Friday.") Though I think believers would profit from it year round. "The Call" would probably be in my top three. Here's how it opens: Come, my way, my Truth, my Life: Such a Way, as gives us breath: Such a truth, as ends all strife: And such a Life, as killeth death. Though I'm just sharing the first stanza, I really adore this one from start to finish. "Colossians 3:3" is a fun little poem, and, definitely in my top three. My words and thoughts do both express this notion, that Life hath with the sun a double motion. The first Is straight, and our diurnal friend, the other Hid and doth obliquely bend. One life is wrapped In flesh, and tends to earth: The other winds towards Him, whose happy birth Taught me to live here so, That still one eye Should aim and shoot at that which Is on high: Quitting with daily labour all My pleasure, To gain at harvest an eternal Treasure. I love the "hidden" message: My life is hid in Him, that is my treasure. I also appreciate Herbert's "The Twenty-Third Psalm" which opens like this: The God of love my shepherd is, And he that doth me feed: While he is mine, and I am his, What can I want or need?

  3. 4 out of 5

    Douglas Wilson

    Read this in another edition. But always fantastic. Some glorious lines in here.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Ben Zornes

    A really wonderful collection of devotional poetry. George Herbert's poetry sinks deep roots into the glorious doctrines of the Christian faith, and then raises us up to soar with poignant praise. He is witty, lucid, and demonstrates that good doctrine with a beating heart is a potent combination. Herbert also mingles in a healthy dose of that good, ol' fashioned earthiness of English poets. In almost every selection you find some sort of proverbial statement which are often quite Solomonic. I'd A really wonderful collection of devotional poetry. George Herbert's poetry sinks deep roots into the glorious doctrines of the Christian faith, and then raises us up to soar with poignant praise. He is witty, lucid, and demonstrates that good doctrine with a beating heart is a potent combination. Herbert also mingles in a healthy dose of that good, ol' fashioned earthiness of English poets. In almost every selection you find some sort of proverbial statement which are often quite Solomonic. I'd highly suggest leaving a copy on your nightstand and read a selection each evening. Really good stuff. Here are a few of my favorite lines: Pick out of tales the mirth, but not the sin. A verse may find him, who a sermon flies, The way to make thy son rich, is to fill His mind with rest, before his trunk with riches. Do all things like a man, not sneakingly. Laugh not too much: the witty man laughs least. Towards great persons use respective boldness. Be calm in arguing: for fierceness makes Error a fault, and truth discourtesy. All worldly joys go less To the one joy of doing kindnesses. Restore to God his due in tithe and time. Praying’s the end of preaching. Churches are either our heav’n or hell. Sum up at night, what thou hast done by day. And praise him who did make and mend our eyes. The bloody cross of my dear Lord Is both my physic and my sword. What Adam had, and forfeited for all, Christ keepeth now, who cannot fail or fall.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Jim Leckband

    This is why I read random books from lists of the great books - that dirty word - (sound effect here...duh duh duuuuuuh...) the canon. Herbert's poetry is on the surface about God, religion, devotion and other mind-numbing (to me) generalities. However, these doctrinal MacGuffins are only there (in my secular reading) for Herbert to jump-start his creativity. His fecund display of wit, craft, rhyme and meter are in almost every poem. He dabbles in concrete poetry (and makes a masterpi This is why I read random books from lists of the great books - that dirty word - (sound effect here...duh duh duuuuuuh...) the canon. Herbert's poetry is on the surface about God, religion, devotion and other mind-numbing (to me) generalities. However, these doctrinal MacGuffins are only there (in my secular reading) for Herbert to jump-start his creativity. His fecund display of wit, craft, rhyme and meter are in almost every poem. He dabbles in concrete poetry (and makes a masterpiece). He sneaks in word-play like acrostics and hidden words. He uses "tricks" like using the last word of a line to begin the next line to great effect. And above all, you can understand and appreciate what he is doing (unlike *cough* John Donne). All in all, I get the feeling that the religion biz was just his beard to get his serious creativity out. Thank God.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Katherine Cowley

    George Herbert was my favorite poet in the Early British Literature class that I took, and so I was delighted when my book group to read him. We read about thirty of his poems and I loved revisiting his works. In particular, what I find striking is the nuances and challenges of faith, and his notions of God and spirituality, which really speak to me and encourage me. Sometime I plan to read the entire book.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Michael Arnold

    An amazing collection from a great, and I think under valued, metaphysical poet. I do like George Herbert a lot.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Jaran Miller

    Herbert and I share thoughts, but the potency of his words far exceed that of mine. The lines are of impeccable form. The prayers are honest, somewhat erratic, and saturated with devotion.

  9. 4 out of 5

    J. Alfred

    Full of well known works like "Love (III)" and "Easter Wings" (which, together with cummings' "l(a," is one of the only concrete poems I've ever liked) and other gems like "the Dawning," this is one of the absolute masterpieces of Christian poetry. It is a prolonged demonstration that word play and wit are not mutually exclusive with a devotional work. For example, here's a stanza from "Evensong": "But thou art Light and darkness both together:/ If that be dark we cannot see:/ The sun is darker Full of well known works like "Love (III)" and "Easter Wings" (which, together with cummings' "l(a," is one of the only concrete poems I've ever liked) and other gems like "the Dawning," this is one of the absolute masterpieces of Christian poetry. It is a prolonged demonstration that word play and wit are not mutually exclusive with a devotional work. For example, here's a stanza from "Evensong": "But thou art Light and darkness both together:/ If that be dark we cannot see:/ The sun is darker than a Tree,/ And thou are more dark than either." So good, right?

  10. 5 out of 5

    Mark

    The first time reading any one of Herbert's poems, I confess I am lost. I can't even tell you what the poem is about. Reading a second time, I understand the general topic or theme, but no specifics. The third time, I begin to see how the ideas in the poem fit the language he uses. The poem becomes more worshipful as I understand it and I start to delight after the fourth reading. It takes that long. I highly recommend George Herbert. He influenced C. S. Lewis, T. S. Eliot, and many others. Me t The first time reading any one of Herbert's poems, I confess I am lost. I can't even tell you what the poem is about. Reading a second time, I understand the general topic or theme, but no specifics. The third time, I begin to see how the ideas in the poem fit the language he uses. The poem becomes more worshipful as I understand it and I start to delight after the fourth reading. It takes that long. I highly recommend George Herbert. He influenced C. S. Lewis, T. S. Eliot, and many others. Me too.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Devin Becker

    The book The Temple is structurally, poetically, religiously, and many other ways adverbally amazing. The history of the book's printing, layout, etc., especially in regards to Herbert's pattern poems ("Easter Wings") is fascinating as well. This book is a good place to start thinking about the book's history; it includes pictures of the manuscript from which the first edition was printed. Get it from your library.

  12. 4 out of 5

    dthaase

    Herbert offers the reader some of the best spiritual poetry ever written.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Simon

    Marvellous!

  14. 4 out of 5

    Dave Mankin

    i keep a copy of this in my satchel.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Aneece

    Ew. Did not realize that "modernized" meant "rewritten for the dull reader". I'm all for normalized spelling and punctuation, but this was gag inducing. Am now in the market for a different edition.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Tadas Sandanavicius

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. nera vertimo.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Brent Pinkall

    Read this in the classics of Western Spirituality edition. Herbert is a genius wordsmith and a master of form. There are some very beautiful poems in this collection.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Alice

  19. 4 out of 5

    Ben

  20. 5 out of 5

    Joshua Turnage

  21. 5 out of 5

    Abigayl Fincel

  22. 5 out of 5

    Matthew Williams

  23. 4 out of 5

    E.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Dean

  25. 5 out of 5

    Ryan Taylor

  26. 5 out of 5

    Wesley Mcmasters

  27. 4 out of 5

    Netanel Kleinman

  28. 5 out of 5

    Tom

  29. 4 out of 5

    Grete

  30. 5 out of 5

    Sunniva Veum-Søhoel

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Loading...
We use cookies to give you the best online experience. By using our website you agree to our use of cookies in accordance with our cookie policy.