MA (Master of Arts)
Date of Award
Committee Chair or Co-Chairs
Frederick O. Waage, Judith B. Slagle
While aspects of mysticism appear in the poetry of both George Herbert and Henry Vaughan, the general consensus among critics has acknowledged the mysticism of Vaughan while ignoring its roots in Herbert's writings. Among the leading authorities on the poetry of Herbert, there has been a general tendency to dismiss, ignore, or explain away mystical elements. A study of representative works by prominent critics to ascertain their positions on this issue reveals not only what can be known for certain about Herbert's theology, but also the interpretations that have been offered for his most famous poems. While these interpretations are useful, the discerning reader must look beyond them, both to the tradition of mysticism and to the Bible, to understand the intensely personal nature of Herbert's spiritual journey. Only then can the full extent of his influence on Vaughan be understood.
Thesis - Open Access
Acker, Elizabeth Anne, "God in the Darkness: Mysticism and Paradox in the Poetry of George Herbert and Henry Vaughan." (2001). Electronic Theses and Dissertations. Paper 107. https://dc.etsu.edu/etd/107
Copyright by the authors.