A Year of Inspirers (9) – Celebrating George Herbert

“Love bade me welcome

But my soul drew back…”

So begins one of George Herbert’s great poems, called “Love (III)”.

Although Herbert is not very well known as a poet, he writes with a powerful simplicity.  He understands love, suffering and inner struggles.

Many of his lines have inspired me.  This is how his poem “The Call” begins:

comemyway HERBERT

And these words are from a great poem called “The Flower”, about dealing with storms in life, and then “budding again”:

6. budagain HERBERT

One of my self-published collections is called “The Joy of Creation”,  and I imitated his style in this piece, which called by the same name:

For the Joy of Creation

~

See my first grey hairs have come

but will they also take my brain?

Can I not remain

in writing fine and witty?

~

Sure, my God would not care so

as long as my verses still contain

You are still my God at heart,

which is the richest part

~

And while my body wastes away

I am renewed within and constantly

And as I age

that is my brightest day.

~

So if I keep my lovely lines

or not is not for me to say

All I could ever dare

was You are still my God

~

If I have written this

which ever way it is

then I have written fair.

~

agebrightday JOC

This is from an earlier collection, chronologically, again in Herbert’s simple style.

~

‘I took your book’

~

I took your book

and read

~

It said you bled

for me

~

They cried

who watched you die

~

But joy now fills my heart

I’ll not part

~

From your ways

all my days.

~

joyfillsmyheart FW

If you are interested in reading more, there are many, many thoughtful, wonderful poems by him. “Prayer (I)” is particularly wonderful, packed full of metaphors.  And “Heaven” is another fantastic poem, where each alternate line answers the previous merely by echoing part of the previous rhyming word.

On 27th February, the poet George Herbert is celebrated and remembered.  You can read about his life here.~

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