Speaker's Bureau

Donne and Herbert: Facing God with Humor and Frustration

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We may assume that 17th century poets, especially two who are priests, are boring, rigid, sanctimonious, and irrelevant to how contemporary life approaches spirituality. John Donne and George Herbert were, however, people like us – with families, career frustrations, facing illnesses and death, grappling with their relationship to God and their parishioners. We will look at a selection of Donne and Herbert’s divine poetry to see how they reflect our own concerns in ways that are eloquent, thoughtful, sometimes reassuring and sometimes provoking. No experience reading poetry required!

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Margaret Oakes