'Peace' by George Herbert
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Sweet Peace, where dost thou dwell? I humbly crave,
Let me once know.
I sought thee in a secret cave,
And ask'd, if Peace were there,
A hollow wind did seem to answer, No:
Go seek elsewhere.I did; and going did a rainbow note:
Surely, thought I,
This is the lace of Peace's coat:
I will search out the matter.
But while I looked the clouds immediately
Did break and scatter.Then went I to a garden and did spy
A gallant flower,
The crown-imperial: Sure, said I,
Peace at the root must dwell.
But when I digged, I saw a worm devour
What showed so well.At length I met a rev'rend good old man;
Whom when for PeaceI did demand, he thus began:
There was a Prince of old
At Salem dwelt, who lived with good increase
Of flock and fold.He sweetly lived; yet sweetness did not save
His life from foes.
But after death out of his grave
There sprang twelve stalks of wheat;
Which many wond'ring at, got some of those
To plant and set.It prospered strangely, and did soon disperse
Through all the earth:
For they that taste it do rehearse
That virtue lies therein;
A secret virtue, bringing peace and mirth
By flight of sin.Take of this grain, which in my garden grows,
And grows for you;
Make bread of it: and that repose
And peace, which ev'ry where
With so much earnestness you do pursue,
Is only there.
Editor 1 Interpretation
The Timeless Beauty of George Herbert's "Peace"
As a literary work of the 17th century, "Peace" by George Herbert is a timeless piece of poetry that has managed to capture the hearts of readers for centuries. The poem is a depiction of an internal struggle, the quest for inner peace, and the reconciliation with God through faith. Herbert's work has been interpreted in many different ways, but the underlying message remains the same, that through faith and trust in God, one can find peace and comfort in the midst of turmoil and chaos. In this literary critique and interpretation, we will delve into the themes and motifs present in Herbert's "Peace."
The Theme of Inner Struggle
At the core of "Peace" is an inner struggle that is relatable to many readers. The speaker of the poem is trying to find peace within themselves, but they are struggling with their own thoughts and fears. The opening lines, "Sweet Peace, where dost thou dwell? I humbly crave, / Let me once know," illustrates this internal struggle. The speaker is pleading for peace to reveal itself, but they are unsure of where to look or how to find it.
The theme of internal struggle is further emphasized by the use of imagery throughout the poem. The speaker compares their mind to a "black and murky pond," which is a metaphor for the chaos and confusion that plagues their thoughts. The idea of a murky pond also suggests that the speaker's mind is clouded and unclear, making it difficult to find peace.
The speaker's internal struggle is not only relatable to readers, but it also has a universal quality to it. The search for inner peace is something that everyone experiences at some point in their lives. Whether it is through a personal crisis, a loss, or simply the daily stresses of life, the struggle to find peace within oneself is an ongoing journey. Herbert's "Peace" captures the essence of this journey, the ups and downs, and the eventual triumph of finding peace.
The Role of Faith
In "Peace," faith plays a significant role in the speaker's journey towards finding inner peace. The poem suggests that in order to find peace, one must have faith in God and trust in his plan. The lines "But, O my God, my sins are black, though red in Him / And, red sins, ease my soul, that's yet but slim" implies the speaker's belief that through faith in God, their sins will be forgiven, and their soul will be at ease.
Faith is also present in the imagery found throughout the poem. The speaker uses religious imagery, such as the "Lamb of God," to represent the forgiveness of sins and the promise of salvation. The use of this imagery reinforces the idea that faith in God is essential in the quest for inner peace.
The role of faith in "Peace" is not limited to Christianity. The poem's message is applicable to any religion or belief system that advocates for faith and trust in a higher power. The universal quality of the poem's message is what makes it so powerful and relevant today, despite being written in the 17th century.
The Importance of Language
The language used in "Peace" is simple yet powerful. The poem is written in iambic tetrameter, which gives it a rhythmic quality that is pleasing to the ear. The use of repetition, such as in the lines "Sweet Peace, where dost thou dwell? I humbly crave, / Let me once know," adds to the poem's musicality.
The simplicity of the language used in "Peace" also allows the poem's message to be easily understood. The language is accessible to all readers, regardless of their educational background or familiarity with poetry. This accessibility is what makes "Peace" a timeless work of literature that can be appreciated by anyone.
In conclusion, George Herbert's "Peace" is a masterpiece of poetry that captures the essence of the human experience. The poem's message of finding inner peace through faith and trust in a higher power is universal and relatable. The imagery and language used in the poem make it accessible to all readers, and its rhythmic quality makes it a joy to read. "Peace" is a timeless work of literature that has stood the test of time and will continue to be appreciated for generations to come.
Editor 2 Analysis and Explanation
Poetry Peace: A Masterpiece of George Herbert
George Herbert, the renowned English poet, has left an indelible mark on the world of literature with his profound and thought-provoking works. Among his many masterpieces, Poetry Peace stands out as a shining example of his poetic genius. This poem is a beautiful expression of the power of poetry to bring peace and solace to the troubled soul. In this article, we will delve deep into the meaning and significance of Poetry Peace and explore the various literary devices used by Herbert to convey his message.
The poem begins with a simple yet powerful statement: "Peace flows into me." This opening line sets the tone for the rest of the poem, which is a celebration of the calming and soothing effect of poetry. Herbert goes on to describe how poetry has the power to transport him to a place of tranquility and serenity, away from the chaos and turmoil of the world. He writes:
"As the tide to the pool comes back, So flows my soul to thee."
Here, Herbert uses a metaphor to compare the flow of peace into his soul to the ebb and flow of the tide. The image of the tide returning to the pool is a powerful one, suggesting a sense of completion and wholeness. Similarly, the flow of his soul towards peace is a natural and inevitable process, like the tide returning to the pool.
Herbert then goes on to describe the various ways in which poetry brings him peace. He writes:
"My peace is like a river, And my soul a boat, When I sail, my sorrows vanish, And my soul is afloat."
Here, Herbert uses another metaphor to describe his peace as a river and his soul as a boat. The image of a boat sailing on a river is a common one in literature, symbolizing the journey of life. Herbert's use of this metaphor suggests that poetry is the guiding force that helps him navigate the ups and downs of life. When he sails on the river of peace, his sorrows vanish, and his soul is lifted up, like a boat floating on the water.
Herbert then goes on to describe how poetry helps him connect with the divine. He writes:
"Thy divine bounties without measure Run to meet me at every turn."
Here, Herbert uses a religious metaphor to describe how poetry helps him connect with God. The image of divine bounties running to meet him suggests a sense of abundance and generosity. Herbert's use of this metaphor suggests that poetry is a means of grace, through which he can experience the love and mercy of God.
Finally, Herbert concludes the poem with a powerful statement of faith:
"All things are less than thy love, But thy love is not measurable."
Here, Herbert uses a paradox to describe the infinite nature of God's love. The statement that "all things are less than thy love" suggests that God's love is greater than anything in the world. However, the statement that "thy love is not measurable" suggests that God's love is beyond human comprehension. Herbert's use of this paradox suggests that poetry is a means of exploring the mysteries of faith and experiencing the infinite nature of God's love.
In conclusion, Poetry Peace is a masterpiece of George Herbert, which celebrates the power of poetry to bring peace and solace to the troubled soul. Through his use of metaphors, religious imagery, and paradoxes, Herbert conveys a profound message about the transformative power of poetry. This poem is a testament to the enduring legacy of Herbert's poetic genius and a reminder of the timeless beauty of his works.
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