Q:

What is the meaning of the poem "The Pulley" by George Herbert?

A:

Quick Answer

George Herbert's "The Pulley" means that man is always restless and striving for more, and that this is necessary to force mankind to seek God and be good. The first stanza talks about how God wanted to bless mankind as much as possible. The second is one of the keys of the poem, and it states that God blessed man with everything except rest.

Know More

Full Answer

The first part reads, "When God at first made man, / Having a glasse of blessings standing by; / Let us (said he) poure on him all we can." God pours wisdom, pleasure, honor and other blessings on man in the second stanza. The last line of the second stanza, "Rest in the bottome lay," means that the only blessing God did not give to man was rest. In the third stanza, God becomes concerned that man "would adore my gifts in stead of me." As a result, in the fourth stanza, God decides to "keep them with repining restlesnesse." He concludes, "If goodnesse leade him not, yet wearinesse / May tosse him to my breast." So, essentially, God wants to keep man restless and weary in order to force him to turn to God for peace, since man cannot find it anywhere else.

Learn more about Poetry

Related Questions

  • Q:

    What does it mean to paraphrase a poem?

    A:

    To paraphrase a piece of poetry or writing means to give an explanation of the piece without plagiarizing. The word paraphrase means to "restate the text to give the meaning in another form."

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What is the meaning of the poem "Bonsai" by Edith Tiempo?

    A:

    The poem "Bonsai" by Edith Tiempo is about love and how people imbue certain objects with love for a person, and those objects become the symbol of love. Edith Tiempo starts out her poem by describing what she does with love. She folds it to make it smaller so that she can keep it in a box, hollow post or shoe. Because love is an abstract concept and has no physical form, she is obviously talking about objects.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What is the meaning of the poem "The Negro Speaks of Rivers"?

    A:

    The central meaning of Langston Hughes' poem "The Negro Speaks of Rivers" revolves around the importance of roots and the way they provide meaning in life. Even though the specific word "roots" does not appear in this poem, details in the text point the reader toward rivers, veins, tree roots and other timeless objects. By using images and languages, Hughes creates a dual meaning for this theme, both in terms of depth and heritage.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What is the meaning of the poem "Sea Fever"?

    A:

    The speaker of "Sea Fever" is someone who has sailed before and wishes to do so again. The speaker lists all the things that he loves about sailing and the sea.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:

Explore