An Explanation on “Redemption”
George Herbert was a religious poet who lived from 1593 – 1633. His poetry portrayed his struggles with God and how he defined their relationship. “These poems reflect Herbert’s struggle to define his relationship to God through biblical metaphors invested with the tensions of relationships familiar in his own society: king and subject, lord and courtier, master and servant, father and child, bridegroom and bride, friends of unequal status.” (Norton, 1705) His poem titled “Redemption” is a perfect example of this. Herbert goes off searching for the Lord, however he is not at “his manner” so he goes off searching for him where he is found among the sinners. The poem’s general theme is about Herbert, and his relationship with Christ and how he feels as though it is lacking. He is hoping to get a new lease; a stronger relationship with Christ where Christ is more involved.
The mood of the poem is one of the first things I noticed when reading it. It almost seems kind of sad or misplaced. He states right in the second line that he is “Not thriving” in the place where he currently is so he is going to seek out the lord for a “new small-rented lease”. This to me says that he feels as though he is giving all he has to God but not getting enough in return. At this point in the poem Herbert is also referencing to the Old Testament when he states “A new small-rented lease and cancel th’ old.” The poem continues its dreary tone as he goes in search of the Lord but doesn’t find him. He uses the word “lately” when referring to the Lord and typically when using that word to refer to a person you are referring to someone who has passed. He then went to search all sorts of palaces and nice places, however when he finally finds him, he is among the sinners, which is where is he needed most. Even though at the end of the poem Herbert gets his request granted, all of these things combine makes for a very gloomy poem.
The setting of the poem...
Cited: Greenblatt, Stephen. The Norton Anthology of English Literature. 9. B. New York: W.W. Norton & Company, 2012. Print.
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