George Herbert


I. Biography:

1. Derived from a wealthy, aristocratic family.
2. His advancement in the University.
3. His earnestness with the pastoral duty II. The major theme of his religious lyrics:

  • 1. The tensions and anxieties in his relationships to God: as that of friend with friend, but essentially unequal.
  • 2. Inability for his poems to praise God.
  • 3. A Biblical poetics: relying on the language, metaphors, symbolism of the Bible.
  • 4. Emblem poetry: emblem portraying the New Testament Temple in the human heart, Christian as a plant or flower in God’s garden.

Carpe Diem

  • I. Definition: Seize the day, time is fleeting, make love now.
  • II. The theme of “trans-shifting” of time.
  • III. Anxiety over Old Age and Death.

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