Tuesday, April 25, 2006

George Herbert's "The Sacrifice"

One of the top ten books that C.S. Lewis considered to be the most influential in his life was The Temple, a book of poetry by the 16th Century poet, George Herbert. I am reading this book, and I recently came across a poem entitled, “The Sacrifice.” It tells the story of the cross from Jesus’ perspective. Herbert repeats the structure and the line “Was ever grief like mine?” after each stanza. I was greatly moved. I am reminded again how powerful poetry can be, how powerful the imagination is when kindled and set ablaze by poetic language. This is especially true when the poet chooses to retell the greatest story in the history of the world. I will write more on imagination later. I have included the first stanza.

The Sacrifice

OH all ye, who passe by, whose eyes and minde

To worldly things are sharp, but to me blinde;
To me, who took eyes that I might you finde:

Was ever grief like mine?

For the rest of the poem as well as a modern version of “The Sacrifice” then click here.

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