Easter Wings

Easter Wings - 1576 The poem "Easter Wings" by George...

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1576 The poem "Easter Wings" by George Herbert is a poem full of deep imagery not only in its words but also in the visual structure of the stanzas. In Herbert’s poem why does he use a shape poem? Because he wanted this poem to have many different levels and meanings. Herbert also used huge amounts of mental imagery so that the reader can find new truths and meanings each time he or she reads it. The poem tells of the poets desire to fly with Christ as a result of Jesus' sacrifice, death and resurrection. The argument as to the proper presentation of this poem is easily explained with the help of the poet's address to the "Lord" in the opening line of the first page in the original text. Because this poem is actually a work within a work with many hidden meanings and suggestions. To fully understand it all, one must examine the poem as a whole in greater detail. The poet is the obvious speaker in the poem due to the common use of "I" and "me" through out the poem. The audience is also revealed in the first line of the 1634 edition of the poem with the use of the word "Lord"; meaning the Christian Savior, Jesus Christ who rose from the dead. But there is question as to where the poem truly begins. This is due to the splitting of the poem onto two separate pages, and then turned ninety degrees so it must be read sideways. This is done on purpose to invoke the vision of wings on both pages. This fact must be considered when evaluating where it begins and whether it is in fact two poems instead of one larger one. "Lord, who createth man in wealth and store" is the beginning of this poem, helping to immediately establish the audience in the first word. As well, this fact help to reveal that this poem is also a prayer of Herbert’s. The appropriate layout of the poem is still the "winged" look necessary for the full impact of the imagery. It is the imagery in this poem that deserves special notice as it gives a much deeper understanding of what Herbert is saying. The first stanza shows the fall of man from the "wealth" that is in God's holiness into the "decaying" life of a sinful nature: "Lord, who createst man in wealth and store, Though foolishly he lost the same, Decaying more and more Till he became Most poor:" As the stanza's lines "decays" in length, the imagery goes from good to bleak finally ending with the eventual poorness of mankind. In the first line where it
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This note was uploaded on 01/09/2011 for the course EDS 103 taught by Professor White during the Spring '10 term at E. Kentucky.

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Easter Wings - 1576 The poem "Easter Wings" by George...

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