Metaphysical poets, selected poems Contents
- Donne, John
- John Donne's early life
- John Donne - from Catholic to Protestant
- John Donne's marriage and its aftermath
- John Donne - The Reverend Dean
- Herbert, George
- Crashaw, Richard
- Vaughan, Henry
- Marvell, Andrew
- King, Henry
- Lovelace, Richard
- Cowley, Abraham
- Philips, Katherine
- Cleveland, John
- Social / political context
- Religious / philosophical context
- Literary context: ideas and innovations
- Aire and Angels
- A Hymn to God the Father
- A Hymn to God, my God, in my Sicknesse
- A Nocturnall upon St. Lucies day
- At the Round Earth's Imagin'd Corners
- A Valediction: Forbidding Mourning
- Synopsis of Valediction: Forbidding Mourning
- Commentary on Valediction: Forbidding Mourning
- Language and tone in Valediction: Forbidding Mourning
- Structure and versification in Valediction: Forbidding Mourning
- Imagery and symbolism in Valediction: Forbidding Mourning
- Themes in Valediction: Forbidding Mourning
- A Valediction: of Weeping
- Batter my heart
- Death be not Proud
- Elegie XIX: Going to Bed
- Elegie XVI: On his Mistris
- Good Friday, 1613. Riding Westward
- Lovers' Infiniteness
- Oh my blacke Soule!
- Satyre III: 'On Religion'
- Show me Deare Christ
- Since She Whom I Lov'd
- Song: Goe, and catche a falling starre
- The Anniversarie
- The Dreame
- The Extasie
- The Flea
- The Good-morrow
- The Sunne Rising
- This is my playes last scene
- Twicknam Garden
- What if this present
- Affliction I
- Easter Wings
- Jordan I
- Jordan II
- Love II
- Prayer I
- The Church-floore
- The Collar
- Hymn in Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament
- Hymn to St Teresa
- St Mary Magdalene, or the Weeper
- To the Countesse of Denbigh
- Ascension - Hymn
- The Night
- The Retreate
- The Water-fall
- A Dialogue between Soul and Body
- On a Drop of Dew
- The Coronet
- The Definition of Love
- The Garden
- The Mower Against Gardens
- The Mower to the Glo-Worms
- The Mower's Song
- The Nymph Complaining for the Death of her Faun
- The Picture of Little T.C. in a Prospect of Flowers
- To his Coy Mistress
- Upon Appleton House, to my Lord Fairfax
Imagery and symbolism in Affliction I
The main image is that of service to a King. This is a commonplace in Christian thought, with Jesus often referred to as ‘king', but Herbert manages to breathe new life into it by using details suggesting he was lured unawares into this service. He uses ‘Entice' (l.l), repeated as ‘'tice' (l.10) and ‘entangled' (l.39). This sets up a tension – has entering God's service been a trap or deception? Any deception, however, is seen in the end to stem from Herbert's early self-centred approach to religious experience.
Stanza 4 suggests the surface attraction of God's service:
- ‘thou gavest me milk and sweetness'
- ‘My days were strew'd with flowers and happiness'.
By contrast, stanza 6 has images of desolation:
- ‘a blunted knife/ Was of more use than I'
- ‘I was blown through with every storm and wind'.
Herbert picks up the imagery of uselessness in stanza 10, in which he wishes he were a tree so that at least he could provide shelter for other creatures.
Stanzas 7-9 contain some excellent examples of metonymy:
- ‘a lingering book'
- ‘a gown'
are both metonymies for the academic life, taking some aspect associated with that life to represent it. The real force is in the word ‘lingering', which comes out of nowhere and lights up the image.
- Look through the notes on Herbert's use of metonymy in Affliction I
- Why ‘lingering' (l.39?)
- What does ‘book' represent in ‘None of my books will show' (l.56)?
- Find at least three other images. Are they conceits as such?
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