Poets' Meeting: George Herbert, R. S. Thomas, and the Argument with God

By Conway, Eileen M. | Anglican Theological Review, Winter 2005 | Go to article overview

Poets' Meeting: George Herbert, R. S. Thomas, and the Argument with God


Conway, Eileen M., Anglican Theological Review


Poets' Meeting: George Herbert, R. S. Thomas, and the Argument with God. By William J. McGill. Jefferson, N.C. and London: McFarland, 2004. vii + 219 pp. $35.00 (paper).

Poets' Meeting is the fruit of William McGill's intention "to arrange an encounter between . . . my two favorite poets, George Herbert and R. S. Thomas" on the principle sketched by Charles Williams: "'to relate the poets to the poets, to explain poetry by poetry.'" In further justification of his interest, McGiIl also cites C. S. Lewis on Herberts excellence "'in conveying the very quality of life as we actually live it from moment to moment'" (p. 2).

Bringing George Herbert and R. S. Thomas into dialogue in this way presents peculiar technical challenges. Each wrote prose that frames or even explicates his own poetry; but although Thomas enjoyed the (necessarily unilateral) privilege of editing and writing about Herbert, the heart of a "meeting" between the two must lie in reading the poems as poems on their own terms. Disappointingly, this is not what McGiIl gives us. He has laid out his book thematically: "calling as priests and poets. . . . ministry, the Bible, the Eucharist, and corporate and personal prayer. . . . faith, sin, love, reason and science, and nature. . . . Christmas, Good Friday and Easter" (pp. 10-11).

Although McGiIl candidly (and repeatedly) quotes Thomas's assertion that "religious poetry is poetry, not religion" (p. 3), his analysis includes frustratingly little discussion of the actual poetics or characteristic rhetoric of either poet. McGiII repeatedly locates the essential differences between Herbert and Thomas in the 300 plus years of intellectual history that separate them-the Enlightenment, the scientific and industrial revolutions, and so on-but underemphasizes more pertinent "divides" of poetic self-understanding. Thomas sounds unlike Herbert not merely because of "the Scientific Revolution, the enlightenment, industrialization, colonialism and post-colonialism, quantum physics, and one could go on" (p. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Poets' Meeting: George Herbert, R. S. Thomas, and the Argument with God
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.