George Herbert

Metaphysical Poet

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Holy Mr. Herbert

- Born April 3, 1593 in Montgomery, Wales

- Died March 1, 1633 in Bemerton, England

- Studied at Trinity College, Cambridge

- Was a skilled lutenist

- Served as a member of Parliament for Montgomery in 1624 and 1625

- Married Jane Danvers on March 5, 1629

- Gave a home to three orphaned nieces

- In 1633, his book The Temple: Sacred Poems and Private Ejaculations was published

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____________ The Pulley _____________

When God at first made man,

Having a glass of blessings standing by,

“Let us,” said he, “pour on him all we can.

Let the world’s riches, which dispersèd lie,

Contract into a span.”


So strength first made a way;

Then beauty flowed, then wisdom, honour, pleasure.

When almost all was out, God made a stay,

Perceiving that, alone of all his treasure,

Rest in the bottom lay.


“For if I should,” said he,

“Bestow this jewel also on my creature,

He would adore my gifts instead of me,

And rest in Nature, not the God of Nature;

So both should losers be.


“Yet let him keep the rest,

But keep them with repining restlessness;

Let him be rich and weary, that at least,

If goodness lead him not, yet weariness

May toss him to my breast.”

Explanation of "The Pulley"

"The Pulley" is about the creation of mankind, it goes back to the idea of Pandora's box. The speaker in the poem places himself in the moment of creation and describes what happened and which gifts God gave to us, along with which gifts God did not give to us. God decides to withhold the gift of rest so that we will not forget him. "The image of the pulley going into the glass and bringing up each jewel that God gives man is a powerful metaphor." The literary devices in this poem includes metaphors, conceit, personification, allusion, alliteration, assonance, and repetitions.
The Bottom Lay - An Analysis of George Herbert's "The Pulley"
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The Creation Song - Kids Learn the Days of Creation In This Short Song - The Sciencesaurs

Sources

"How Does the Poet Portray the Image of the Pulley in the Poem "The Pulley" by George Herbert? - Homework Help - ENotes.com."Enotes.com. Enotes.com, n.d. Web. 18 Feb. 2016.

"What Is the Summary for the Poem "The Pulley" by George Herbert? - Homework Help - ENotes.com." Enotes.com. Enotes.com, n.d. Web. 18 Feb. 2016.

"George Herbert Biography." Bio.com. A&E Networks Television, n.d. Web. 18 Feb. 2016.

"George Herbert." Poetry Foundation. Poetry Foundation, n.d. Web. 18 Feb. 2016.