Please update your browser

You're using a version of Internet Explorer that isn't supported by Questia.
To get a better experience, go to one of these sites and get the latest
version of your preferred browser:

Theory and Theology in George Herbert's Poetry: Divinitie, and Poesie, Met

By Elizabeth Clarke | Go to book overview

INTRODUCTION Poetry and Divine Motion

Probably the most impressive construction in The Temple is the role of the Reformation poet. This book is an exploration of George Herbert's success in creating that role for himself in unpromising seventeenth-century circumstances. Herbert is writing at a key moment in literary history, at the confluence of the Renaissance rhetorical tradition and Reformation theology. This exceptionally creative conjunction gave rise to questions about the authority of sacred discourse, and the validity of poetry itself. Herbert struggled with these issues in The Temple, with enormous success in terms of his seventeenth-century readership.

The theologians of the fledgling Reformation in England had not been sympathetic to poetry. Tyndale used the word 'poet' as a term of abuse.1 There was universal concern that preoccupation with the 'husk' of words could divert attention from the 'kernel' of truth. Richard Rogers scorns those who 'preferre the Case before the Instrument, the Rinde before the Pith'.2 Savonarola, whose writings were influential in Reformation England, was convinced that the 'shell' which was poetic language would always distract from the truth, because it was essentially self-glorifying to the poet.3 Versified narrative such as The Mirror for Magistrates, where content was clearly primary, and verse paraphrases of the Bible were more acceptable. George Wither distinguished three types of poetry, the first including 'such Conceits as delight Schoolboyes and Pedanticall wits', which is clearly unsuitable for sacred poetry, the second 'necessary Truths . . . couched in significant Parables'. He has chosen to write in the third kind, 'which delivers commodious Truths, and things Really necessary, in as plain, and in

____________________
1
See Eiléan ni Chuilleandin, "'The Debate between Thomas More and William Tyndale, 1528-33: Ideas on Literature and Religion'", JEH 39 ( 1987), 398.
2
Richard Rogers, The Practice of Christianitie ( London, 1618), 345: quoted in Russell Fraser , The War Against Poetry ( Princeton, 1970), 8.
3
Jérôme Savonarola, Apolegeticus De Ratione Poeticae Artis, in Compendium philosophia et alia ( Venice, 1534), 17v.

-1-

Notes for this page

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 ...
Project items

Items saved from this book

This book 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 book

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

Cited page

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 page

Bookmark this page
Theory and Theology in George Herbert's Poetry: Divinitie, and Poesie, Met
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this book

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
/ 306

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.