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Analysis


Symbols, Imagery, Wordplay

Form and Meter

So the most obvious thing about the form of "Easter Wings" is that it actually has a physical form. No same-old left-aligned vanilla-flavored poems in Herbert's Easter basket. These stanzas give ne...

Speaker

We'll be honest. While it's often frowned upon in studying poetry, it's very tempting to lump the speaker and Herbert together into one figure. And it seems like a pretty safe move. Whoever's talki...

Setting

We know "Easter Wings" is set during Easter because in line 9 the speaker asks to sing "this day" Christ's victory over death. But what else do we know? Since this poem is the speaker's one-sided c...

Sound Check

Smooth rhythms and loads of similar sounds make this poem as soothing on the ear as an oozy crème-filled chocolate egg. Alliteration and assonance give sound spotlights to important lines while in...

What's Up With the Title?

So why Easter? Sure, it's a holiday about dying eggs and eating your weight in those special-edition pastel-colored M&Ms. But for Christians it's really a celebration of Christ's resurrection f...

Calling Card

Even for a clergyman Herbert was a pretty rigid one-genre man: he did religious poetry—no love songs, no epics, no haikus. So how to distinguish Herbert's churchy poems from the rest of the relig...

Tough-o-Meter

The wing shape is cute but the heavyweight theology hovering just beneath makes this poem more complex than it looks. It's easy to get snagged on the central paradox that sin is both bad and good,...

Trivia

Someone wrote an entire article on the correct interpretation of the word "imp" in line 19. Yep. For $200 you can purchase a lifetime membership to the George Herbert Society.Not every book on Geo...

Steaminess Rating

Nowadays The Temple goes by The Temple, but once upon an unexpurgated time, when it was first published in 1633, it came out as The Temple, Sacred Poems, and Private Ejaculations. Yikes. How's that...
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