::E211 GEORGE HERBERT QUESTIONS ::=-^
+ ^-=E211 GEORGE HERBERT QUESTIONS=-^
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Assigned: "The Altar" (1607); "Redemption" (1607); "Easter" (1608); "Easter Wings" (1609); "Affliction 1" (1609-11); "Prayer 1" (1611) "Jordan 1" (1611-12); "Denial" (1613); "Jordan 2" (1615-16); "Time" (1616-17); "The Bunch of Grapes" (1617); "The Pilgrimage" (1618); "The Pulley" (1620); "The Flower" (1621-22); "Discipline" (1623); "Death" (1624).
- __"The Altar"__
1. The speaker describes his heart as a stone altar ; wh at else does the stone-motif refer to? What collaboration between the human and the divine is necessary to make a Christian poem?
+ The ltarh
2. How migh t Herbert be a lluding in th is "sh ape d" poem to t he r isk that hi s poet ic craft sman ship will d isplace the d octrines an d te xts o f the Anglica n Ch ur ch as media tor between Go d and m an?
+ . h erbert a n ths she oemot r that ioet tman d the dines nes o e a Chrsian om?
__" Redemption "__
- 3. Who is the "rich Lord?" Explain the basic conceit of the poem.
4. Examine Herbert's use of a " courtly" conte xt and of "narrative " -- are these uses som ewhat unusual for a sonnet? (Thi nk abo ut our brief defin itions of lyric and the sonnet.) Wh y?
5. Is Herbert's handling of the cour tly context and narrative ironic ? To explor e the question, ex amine the final coupl et -- wha t effect does i t have upon the first three quatrains and upon the basic conceit th ose quatrains de velop?
+ . s the ric or xplain the basic conceit the e
- __"Easter" ("The Song" is part of this poem)__
6. Wha t re lat ion ship do es t he poe m su gges t s ho uld hold be tw een h ea rt an d wor d? Ho w do you deri ve that re lations hip fr om the poe m?
+ . a reaton do te e sues soewhat n or o o ou rie etions fr the oe
- 7. How does the "song" connect with the first three stanzas? How, that is, do they form a unit?
__"Easter Win gs "__
+ aster ins
- 8. How does this poem reinforce the traditional theme that the individual's life should be an "imitation of Christ's life" (Imitatio Christi, after the text of that name by Thomas ÃƒÂ Kempis)? How does the shape of the poem reinforce that theme?
9. Wha t is t he " flight" to which the speaker refers? Ho w is this wing-shap ed poem a prayer of sorts for God's blessing on th e vocati on of poe try -- Th e Temple as a book of religious verse?
+ haste "he o is par of thi poeh
10. How certa in of t he task's appr opriat en ess does the spe aker se em to be ? Expla in with re feren ce to the poem 's lines.
+ . at ratns does the pe seto be an with ren o the poem
- __"Affliction (1)"__
11. Briefly co mpare th is poe m th at addr esses God with one of Don ne's ''Ho ly Sonnet s.'' What di fferences in t one and pro cedur e do you fi nd?
+ . oe ths oe tht rs the ns Ho that is te or ui?
- 12. The speaker suggests that he is affirming his life's course and declaring love for God? How might one qualify these claims based on the poem as a whole?
__" Pra yer 1" __
+ "aer "
13. Why do you thin k that He rbe rt av oids usi ng th e verb "to be" thr ougho ut the son net ?
+ . do thin that ee avids i h b "to e" thrhot the sonet
- 14. Try to make some connections and contrasts between the various "descriptions" in the sonnet. Do you think these connections and contrasts make some statement when you put them together? (The phrase, "Church-bells beyond the stars heard" is particularly helpful here.)
15. Cons ider the phrase, " somethi ng understo od." Wh at is unders tood? How would you connect this li ttle "summa ry p hra se " t hat ends the son net with the subject ("pr ay er") and/or wi th the ca ta lo g of noun phr ase s throug hou t the s onne t?
+ . s the "ig to ht s ers? How this ie ma prae t ds e on the ct pry ih e aao of regou ese?
- __"Jordan 1"__
6. Why is the title impo rtant to one's under sta ndin g of the poem's subject? Co nsi der that in the Bible , the river Jordan is associate d wit h Je sus' ba pti sm. It i s also th e r ive r that the Isr ae lite s cro ssed as the y ap pro ache d the Prom is ed Lan d.
+ 1. o ertain of the 's oiatne e the er se t e ai ith reeree o the poems n.
- 17. In what way is this sonnet similar in theme to Sidney's "Sonnet 1?" What argument about language, i.e. poetry, does Herbert raise and then, in the final stanza, try to answer?
18. Is Herbert's " answer" convi ncin g? ( Consider the language and style in some of his other poems.) Wh y or why not?
+ "icin ()h
- 19. What does the title "Denial" refer to? What is being denied, by whom and to whom? Is it still denied when the poem is finished? Explain.
How does th e poe m's f orm unde rsc ore or illuminate the spea ker's difficul ty?
+ 2. es th es frm undecre or minate the peas l?
- __"Jordan (2)"__
21. How does th is poem r ela te to "Jor dan (1 )" ? Does it assert th e same thing, or something different? How does the poem compare stylistically to its predecessor?
+ hraer 1"h
__"Ti me" __
- 22. What does the character Time understand about the speaker by the poem's conclusion, and how did Time come to know what it does?
23. Ho w m ight t his po em be t aken as " me tapoeti c" -- a comme nta ry on the writ ing of poetry ?
+ . o m tis o beten as "epoeti a commeta n the tg poetry
- __"The Bunch of Grapes"__
24. Her e the sp ea ke r employs th e ''New Testa ment 's '' pr es ent atio n o f Jesu s' re dempti ve sa cr ifice as a comfort ove r agains t the dis con ten tme nt he is e xp er ie ncing. Do you fi nd the fina l sta nza a con vincing "rou nding -o ff" t o the poe m? Why or why not?
+ . er the pae sth estats rsto o u etie sar as at ens the sonnet he sepre o i the ata on rougot the oet?
- __"The Pilgrimage"__
25. Wh at saves the speaker fro m despair on his journey? How certain is he of success in reaching the d esired destina tion ? Explain with reference to the poem's lines.
+ hordan h
__"The Pulley "__
+ he ulley
- 26. What image of God emerges from this poem? Respond with reference to the poem's lines.
27. What ha ppens i n this poem to the not io n of origin al sin as a cau se fo r human mi sery ? (No t that Herbert denie s th is doctrin e; the questi on is inst ea d on e of po etic emphas is.)
+ 7. hat a i this oem the to in n a aue o an iery o Herbert ie th in the in stan o as
- __"The Flower"__
28. At what points doe s the gar de n or nat ural ima ger y refer merely to n ature, i f i t does, an d when do es i t refer t o spiritua l mat te rs? Use this questio n t o e xplor e the poem 's structure as a veh icle for th e speaker's aspirat ions.
+ 8. s erert aer oniin osier t ua ate se his oter poems h or h t
29. Compare th is poe m briefly to Don ne's stri king wa y of addressing God in one of the ''Hol y Sonnets'' and/ or in "Good Friday, 1613 . Riding Westward." How does the approach taken by Herbert's speaker differ?
30. Compare this poem to Donne's "Holy Sonnet 10." How does the approach taken by Herbert's speaker differ?
__Edition :__ Abra ms, M. H. et al, eds. ''The Norton Anthology of English Literature. '' 8th ed . Vol. B. New York: Norton, 2006. ISBN Package 1 (Vols. ABC) 0-393-92833-0.
+ Editionbra, et al, eds. The Norton Anthology of English Literature. 8th ed. New York: Norton, 2006. Package 1 (Vols. ABC) 0-393-92833-0.