My Home Library Reading

The Idea by Edward Herbert

Posted on: December 5, 2011

THE POEMS OF LORD HERBERT OF CHERBURY
Edited by: John Churton Collins
Published: by Chatto and Windus, London in 1881.
Paperback: 174 pages

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Note: ‘Cherbury’, but correctly spelt its called ‘Chirbury’ that is as a place, is located in Shropshire near the boundary of Wales.
See weblink for history of geographical area: http://www.visionofbritain.org.uk/place/place_page.jsp?p_id=2077

Edward, Lord Herbert of Cherbury (1583-1648) it is said that one of “his greatest virtue of all speculative writing, the virtue of originality. He had read such books as were accessible to him on the subjects with which he dealt. None of them satisfied him, and rejecting all their conclusions, he worked the questions they professed to answer out for himself. No authority, he said, deserved a slavish adherence. A philosopher must think for himself, and have no personal nor professional ends to serve. This in itself was a sure sign that Edward Herbert was a sincere progressionist.”

The poetry is written either in Latin or Old English within the book, that is ‘Early Modern English’ otherwise known as ‘EModE’ as a language used in the latter half of the 15th century to 1650 period:

THE IDEA (on pages 109 to 113)

The poem is about the actual mold casting and that of the clay figure of God’s creation of ‘Woman’, his handiwork. And its this Woman’s mold casting from which God based his idea from this sample of ‘Woman’ upon for the humankind species of female and the like. But God had no control in the formation of her spirit no matter how he re-casted her several times, that is God could only create that of her outer appearance. Once God came to terms with this, with great difficulty, and finally let her be cast into human female form, the poem states that God never destroyed nor let the female casting mold out of his possession and kept her safe and a secret from all prying eyes including the Heavens, of which the poet is also glad of because he’s taken with her in affection, and pleads with God that he never destroys the cast, although the others do have ‘THE IDEA’ of her existence, for she is not one of them; for she’s not a Goddess, nor a human female, nor a deity, however she is more than an Angel and known to be real in her Divine casting, as a Woman, for she is the ‘Transcendent One’ in the heavenly kingdom therein her place assured, for she being the ‘Lamentation Supreme-Being’ for the Gods and Humankind, that is she was created for them to repent their ways.

Thus the poet, Edward Lord Herbert of Cherbury, has dedicated these words of endearment in the Metaphysical poetry to her.
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ADDENDUM:

“As Statuaries, yet having fram’ed in Clay / An hollow image, afterwards convey, / The molten metal through each several way, / But when it once unto its place hath past, / And th’inward Statua perfectly in cast…”

The meaning of the colour Grey, as in the Clay material, used during the Elizabethan period was extremely important. People who could wear the colour Grey was dictated by English Law! These were called the Sumptuary Laws, see weblink http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sumptuary_law

And as to the Symbolic and Religious meaning of the colour Grey there are some interesting facts and information:

* In the Bible the colour grey refers to truth (Psalms 12:6), old age (Genesis 42:38), the beauty of age (Proverbs 20:29), weakness (Hosea 7:9) and ashes (Genesis 18:27).
* The symbolic meaning of the colour grey was mourning, repentance and purification.
* Grey also has a Biblical meaning and is the Christian colour for the season of Lent and closely associated with fasting and prayer.
* Grey clothing also symbolized humility and plainness, and for this reason was associated with monastic life.
* People who were allowed to wear the colour grey during the Elizabethan era, as decreed by the English Sumptuary Laws, were the middle and upper classes.
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Weblinks for further Information:

http://www.elizabethan-era.org.uk/color-gray.htm

http://encyclopedia2.thefreedictionary.com/Metaphysical+poetry

http://thinkexist.com/dictionary/meaning/progressionist/

http://www.luminarium.org/sevenlit/chirbury/chirbio.htm

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Old_English

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Early_Modern_English

 

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