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Word Count: 1,277
One of the major themes in the religious poetry of the17th century is the struggle between serving G-d and livinga fulfilling and satisfying life If one was a member of theclergy they refrained from acting by their own will andspent their lives trying to do right in the eyes of G-d Twoof the poets that used this struggle as a major theme intheir poetry were George Herbert and John Milton In Herberts The Collar the poet writes from thepoint of view of a pious clergyman He begins by saying thathe has had enough of the church and that he would like toleave in order to live a normal life He tells himself Mylines and life are free free as the road meaning whyshould I sit here and serve G-d when there are so many funand wonderful things to be done in this lifetime Thisclergyman goes on to convince himself that he should leaveHe asks himself why he should have to be the one to serveG-d and not live life If everyone else is doing it whyshouldnt he By the end of the poem the clergyman realizeswhat his priorities are and returns to the G-d which heJohn Miltons Lycidas is about the meaning ofexistence The poem is divided into three movements Thefirst is about the reward of poetry the second is aboutspirituality and the third is about dying and going toheaven Lycidas is truly about the corrupted clergy in theThe poem begins with a shepherd or swain as he iscalled in the poem In the first movement Milton discussesthe purpose of poetry What is its purpose What does thepoet get in return for his or her beautiful words Could apersons time be spent better serving G-d or does G-dappreciate the fact that he is a poet The answer to thisquestion is given by Apollo He says on lines 78-84Fame is no plant that grows on mortal soilSet off to th world nor in broud rumor liesBut
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