George Herbert combined the intellectual and the spiritual, the humble and the divine, to create some of the most moving devotional poetry in the English language. His deceptively simple verse uses the ingenious arguments typical of seventeenth-century 'metaphysical' poets, and unusual imagery drawn from musical structures, the natural world and domestic activity to explore a mosaic of Biblical themes. From the wit and wordplay of 'The Pulley' and the formal experimentation of 'Easter Wings' and 'Paradise', to the intense, highly personal relationship between man and God portrayed in 'The Collar' and 'Redemption', the works collected here show the transcendental power of divine love.
George Herbert was born in 1593. He was educated at Westminster School and Trinity College, Cambridge, where he was appointed Reader in Rhetoric in 1618, and PUblic Orator in 1620. Though he seemed destined for a great public career, attracting the attention of influential patrons, including King James I. However, when his patrons died, Herbert resigned from parliament and took holy orders in 1626, becoming rector of a tiny parish on Salisbury Plain. He died in 1633.
John Tobin is currently a Professor of English Literature at the University of Massachusetts. he has published widely on the sources of Renaissance poetry.