Poets’ Meeting

George Herbert, R.S. Thomas, and the Argument with God


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About the Book

George Herbert (1593–1633) and R.S. Thomas (1913–2000), each a major English poet and an Anglican priest, lived in very different times, one before the Scientific Revolution, the Enlightenment, and industrialization, and one following. Yet the two men and their poetry bear striking resemblances: Both loved nature and music, both were pacifists, and both struggled with the claims of faith, the nature of the spiritual life, and the recurrent silences of God.
This book demonstrates that when their lives and poems are studied side by side, each man enhances our understanding of the other. The first essay deals with their sense of calling as priests and poets. The work then explores topics that relate to their roles as parish priests: ministry, the Bible, the Eucharist, and prayer. Several essays follow dealing with broader questions of the human condition: faith, sin, love, reason and science, and nature. The work concludes by considering their poems about Christmas, Good Friday, and Easter.

About the Author(s)

Historian William J. McGill is the managing editor and poetry editor of Spitball: The Literary Baseball Magazine. An ordained Episcopal priest, he lives in Annville, Pennsylvania.

Bibliographic Details

William J. McGill
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 228
Bibliographic Info: photos, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2004
pISBN: 978-0-7864-1693-6
Imprint: McFarland

Book Reviews & Awards

“helpful information including succinctly put-together biographical notes on both poets and an excellent array of annotated secondary sources…a trustworthy and valuable study”—Anglican Theological Review.