The wry and sometimes anguished humor that he uses to express his spiritual and moral crises make him a consolation to many readers, which was his hope if his work should be published. For the first time, John Drury convincingly integrates the life and poetry of George Herbert, giving us in Music at Midnight the definitive biography of the man behind some of the most famous poems in the English Language. Though he never published any of his English poems during his lifetime, George Herbert 1593—1633 is recognized as possibly the greatest religious poet in the language. In the end, it's about music, and love. Music at Midnightis the culmination of a lifetime's interest in Herbert, whose Complete PoetryDrury is now editing for Penguin Classics. Drury provides insightful readings of many of Herbert's poems, providing economical glosses on challenging language, and placing them in the context of Herbert's life and era.
Lost in a Humble Way 8. Nicholas Farrar of Little Gidding, to whom the poems were entrusted made sure they did find their way in print. When in the year of his death his friend Nicholas Ferrar, leader of the quasi-monastic community at Little Gidding, published Herbert's poems under the title The Temple, his fame was quickly established. Bemerton: Being a Country Person 9. It is far and away the best introduction to Herbert that I've found, and anyone interested in lasting poetry or piety would be rewarded by reading it. As Dean of Christ Church, Oxford, he studied Christian paintings and their meaning in Painting the Word. He showed worldly ambition and seemed sure of high public office and a career at court, but then for a time 'lost himself in a humble way', devoting himself to the restoration of the church at Leighton Bromswold in Buckinghamshire and then to his parish of Bemerton, three miles from Salisbury, whose cathedral music he called 'my heaven on earth'.
The text starts slow, but it grows on you after a while, especially because Drury is an excellent reader of Herbert: he also has a refreshing willingness to say when a poem is dull or not great. Only 3 stars, because I had some beef with: the repetitive structure this feels quite obviously a not-fully- This book reminded me how cosy I find old-school close reading of poetry. For the first time, John Drury convincingly integrates the life and poetry of George Herbert, giving us in Music at Midnight the definitive biography of the man behind some of the most famous poems in the English Language. What happiness to achieve so much in so short a span. John Drury tackles that excellent work on page one of this excellent biography, and continues by interweaving Herbert's life story with analyses of some of his best poems.
The biography proper ends with the narrative of Herbert's death in 1633, just short of age 40, but 5 more chapters follow, considering the first publication of the poems, their reception then and since, and their meaning today. From beginning to end, Drury includes readings of the poems, bringing out effects of rhyme, meter, and sound as well as diction. This was an excellent book. On the day before his death he was singing his own verse, accompanying himself on the lute. This is one of the great advertisements for the irenical, evensong-in-a-quiet-country-church form of Anglicanism. He brilliantly analyses dozens of Herbert poems, without boring the novice with too much technical jargon, and yet with enough finesse to keep the diligent student interested.
He took this interest further, and into the realm of Christian paintings and their meaning, in Painting the Word, written while he was Dean of Christ Church, Oxford. When he likened Herbert's poetry to chamber music, he had me hooked. Initially his commentaries on the poems were disappointing for the most part. He began as a biblical scholar, and while Dean of King's College, Cambridge, worked with Frank Kermode on the Gospels for The Literary Guide to the Bible. A fine vantage point to contemplate his genius is the crag of Montgomery Castle, where his bibliophile brother Edward built a luxury home inside medieval walls. A clever boy from the family had many hands extended to help him on the way, even though most noblemen would have looked askance at the road that Edward and George chose: intellectual and not political pursuits.
From beginning to end, Drury includes readings of the poems, bringing out effects of rhyme, meter, and sound as well as diction. In this book John Drury sets the poetry in the whole context of the poet's life and times, so that the reader can understand the frame of mind and kind of society which produced it, and depth can be added to the narrative of Herbert's life. A Young Man at Cambridge 4. When he likened Herbert's poetry to chamber music, he had me hooked. But it's wonderful to retire to the delicacy of Herbert for a while too.
Drury shows how Walton often misrepresented Herbert's life, gilding the lily in an effort to provide an Anglican saint for a Church of England restored after its suppression during the Commonwealth. Drury's discussion draws the reader into the poet's creative process and demonstrates the sensibility that marks Herbert as a rare poetic genius. As such, surely this is positive, to wind self and sense, poet and his matter, into fusion? He was born in 1593 and died at the age of 39 in 1633, before the clouds of civil war gathered, his family aristocratic and his upbringing privileged. One feels the wise did not contradict Magdalen Herbert. In his second poem, it is that simplicity of thought onto paper which truly makes those words and all meaning behind them, for him and the reader so beautiful. Born in an aristocratic and cultured family, Herbert's life intersected with many important persons of his time including Lancelot Andrewes and John Donne. Williams's Library in London and dated 1623 or earlier.
For a biographer there's an obvious pit fall in reading the poems, and tak I think the subtitle is the wrong way round. He was no mean musician himself and savoured these memories. Drury also makes a case that Easter Wings is not intended as a poetic pictogram of angels ascending but of birds flying east, excusing all those publishers who have been criticised for printing the page at an erroneous 90 degree angle. This book is a perfect fusion of life and art. Music at Midnight is the culmination of a lifetime's interest in Herbert, whose Complete Poetry he is now editing for Penguin Classics.
I haven't read any other books about Herbert's life but I enjoyed this one thoroughly. Drury is an excellent entree into this kind of detailed poetic reading. Herbert's life was comparatively short though Drury reminds us that a death at 40 was not that premature in the early seventeenth century where middle age effectively began at 30 and aside from his published poems and treatise on parish ministry, little remains in terms of primary sources some letters, but not much else. The wry and sometimes anguished humor that he uses to express his spiritual and moral crises make him a consolation to many readers, which was his hope if his work should be published. He was born in 1593 and died at the age of 39 in 1633, before the clouds of civil war gathered, his family aristocratic and his upbringing privileged. In addition, he reveals the occasions of sorrow, happiness, regret, and hope that Herbert captured in his poetry and that led T.