The Sanctification of Poetry

Elizabeth Clarke

in Theory and Theology in George Herbert’s Poetry

Published in print September 1997 | ISBN: 9780198263982
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191682698 | DOI:

Series: Oxford Theological Monographs

The Sanctification of Poetry

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This chapter traces some of Herbert’s strategies in his attempt to represent the mortification of his poetry, and some of the problems he encountered. It discusses how Herbert took extraordinary care in poetic composition. He worked ‘as if’ he were the efficient cause of the writing: ‘as if’ the normal processes of persuasive rhetoric will function and the reader be helped towards a relationship with God. He could do no other: that is the only way to write poetry. He worked hard to develop a poetry of submission and love, against all precedent: yet he disowned the achievement, attributing anything positive to God Himself.

Keywords: George Herbert; mortified poetry; Juan de Valdés; poetic composition

Chapter.  17367 words. 

Subjects: Religious Studies

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