400 years dispatched with one stroke or many, as we now realise, “enlightenment,” commenced with this hitherto unrecognised and unknown to many, Nostradamus of the written word.
George Herbert’s most famous poems
George Herbert (1593-1633) published none of his poetry during his lifetime, instead sending his poetic works to a friend shortly before his death, with the instruction that if his friend thought the poems worth publishing, he should do so. Thankfully, they were published, in The Temple in 1633, a few months after Herbert’s death. The following poems are what we consider the ten greatest George Herbert poems (although other readers will doubtless have their own top ten list). Click on the title of each poem to read it, and discover more information about the poem.
‘Jordan (I)’. A poem calling for plain speech in poetry, rather than clichés or needlessly obscure and convoluted metaphors. This may strike us as somewhat odd given Herbert’s fondness for elaborate conceits and analogies elsewhere in his poetry, but Herbert’s main objection appears to be to lazy poetic…
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