TURNING THE DIAMOND: George Herbert on Prayer, Week 2

Mar 30, 2020 by

by Stephen Noll, Contending Anglican:

Note: For anyone joining this series in Week 2 (you can find the consolidated Week 1 here), we are continuing the verse-by-verse exposition of George Herbert’s sonnet “Prayer” assisted by the fine book by Dennis Lennon, Turning the Diamond: Exploring George Herbert’s Images of Prayer.

Here is the sonnet in full.

Prayer the Church’s banquet, angels’ age,
God’s breath in man returning to his birth,
The soul in paraphrase, heart in pilgrimage,
The Christian plummet sounding heaven and earth;

Engine against the Almighty, sinner’s tower,
Reversed thunder, Christ-side-piercing spear,
The six-days world transposing in an hour,
A kind of tune, which all things hear and fear;

Softness, and peace, and joy, and love, and bliss,
Exalted manna, gladness of the best,
Heaven in ordinary, man well dressed,
The Milky Way, the bird of Paradise,

Church-bells beyond the stars heard, the soul’s blood,
The land of spices; something understood.


Read here


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