Mission & Ministry - Earl Palmer Essay on George Herbert

The Bishop's Institute Suggested Reading - June 2016

The "Modestly Exquisite" Poetry of George Herbert

In lieu of our monthly book review, the Institute encourages you to whet your appetite for poetry by reading a wonderful short essay by Earl Palmer on the poems of George Herbert, (d. 1633), the 17th century Anglican poet and priest. It is called 'The "Modestly Exquisite" Poetry of George Herbert'. As the Penguin Classics editor of his poems says of him, 'George Herbert is either our most major minor poet in English literature or he is the most modestly exquisite of our major poets". In his autobiography, Surprised by Joy, C.S. Lewis describes a poet who disturbed his atheism. He writes: "A young man who wishes to remain a sound atheist cannot be too careful in his reading. . .the most alarming of all was George Herbert. Here was a man who seemed to me to excel all the authors I had ever read in conveying the very quality of life as we actually live it… but the wretched fellow insisted on mediating it through what I still would have called 'the Christian Mythology'." Curious enough? Read Earl Palmer's essay on the Bishop's Institute page [or wherever Kate, you want to direct the reader].
Earl Palmer is the brilliant lecturer who led the Institute's C.S. Lewis weekend last September and who returns this September 23-25th to Camp Weed to lead our Bonhoeffer weekend. His essay is published in Radix and the Institute is grateful to Radix for allowing us to share it with you. Radix is a fine theological-literary review and essay magazine in the intersections where 'Christian Faith Meets Contemporary Culture'. I have subscribed to it. Take a look at their website: http://www.radixmagazine.com/

Douglas Dupree

download document  |  The "Modestly Exquisite" Poetry of George Herbert