Pilgrimpace's Blog

My Reading Year #7 ‘Music at Midnight’ John Drury
January 1, 2014, 10:54 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

This looks a good prospect. I will be spending my Christmas book token on this and shall read it in Lent.

Another Angle

This is the final book in this short series, and it is the pick of the bunch. My book of the year is John Drury’s ‘Music at Midnight’ a much and rightly praised exposition of ‘The Life and Poetry of George Herbert’.

Drury is a confident and crafty writer. Consider his opening sentence: ‘Herbert’s masterpiece ‘Love (III)’ is saturated in the conditions of life in seventeenth century England’.  This is a ‘bold attack’ worthy of either Herbert or John Donne, from whom he learnt the style. Immediately you know you are in good hands, and that the book is not going to be a heap of abstractions or technicalities, nor less a pile of pious platitudes. It’s going to be a grounded and earthy account of what made the poet tick and the poetry live. And as you turn the pages, so you discover that’s exactly what it is.


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