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Quotes

Quote #1

Gr-r-r – there go, my heart's abhorrence! (line 1)

Here we are, first line of the poem, and the speaker is already so disgusted that he can hardly form words – he actually growls to open the poem! He calls the as-yet-unnamed Brother Lawrence his "heart's abhorrence," reversing the usual poetic trope of addressing the speaker's beloved as his "heart's love" or "heart's joy."

Quote #2

If hate killed men, Brother Lawrence,
God's blood, would not mine kill you! (lines 3-4)

The speaker admits that his hatred is intense enough to kill... if hate actually worked that way. Isn't it kind of bad to hate a fellow monk that much? Wouldn't that count as a sin?

Quote #3

Hell dry you up with its flames! (line 8)

The speaker intersperses delightful little oaths and swears like this with his fake-polite remarks about Brother Lawrence's gardening. Grumbling and swearing under your breath when you're angry at someone? Yeah, that seems pretty realistic.

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