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The Temple: The Poetry of George Herbert (Christian Classic) Paperback – May 1, 2001


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Product Details

  • Series: Christian Classic
  • Paperback: 212 pages
  • Publisher: Paraclete Press (MA) (May 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1557252599
  • ISBN-13: 978-1557252593
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 5.4 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 1.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,209,110 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By S. Schuler on November 9, 2011
Format: Paperback
As the editor/redactor Henry Carrigan admits in the introduction, he has freely "modernized" Herbert's poems. Further, the edition lacks notes, so unless you already know Herbert well, there is no way to know which poems he has modified and to what extent. Many of the changes Carrigan makes seem arbitrary. So, for example, in line 11 of "The Pulley," Carrigan changes Herbert's original phrase "said he" to "he said." Why? The phrase "said he" is admittedly archaic, but any reader possessing anything beyond a third-grade reading level will know what Herbert means. And the phrase comes at the end of the line, so the change ruins the rhyme scheme without adding anything to the poem. One line earlier, the word "The" is added to the line "Rest in the bottom lay." Adding the word changes the meaning of the line completely, and it also lengthens the line by one syllable, breaking the meter. Carrigan's changes betray a total disregard for poetic form. Apparently he sees form as mere ornament, which can be modified or discarded at will.

To do this to any work of literature is inexcusable, but such "editing" is especially destructive to poetry. Herbert's poems are painstakingly crafted at the technical level. Change a few words in a poem, and the result is not an "edition" or a "modernization" but an entirely new poem. In poetry, form and content are inextricable from each other--that is part of what makes it poetry in the first place. And in this case, usually a worse one. So what you get in this edition is a rewriting of Herbert's poems, not Herbert's poems themselves.

There are plenty of other good, cheap editions of Herbert's poems available. Skip this one.
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