The Altar By George Herbert

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“The Altar” Analysis
“The Altar” by George Herbert is the first poem to appear in “The Church.” His poems are a record of his private devotional life. In the poem “The Altar”, George Herbert creates an altar, which is also required of Moses in the Bible. He makes the altar out of his heart and holds it together with his tears. No one alters the tears from the way God made them. He puts his heart into this altar that he makes to praise God. In the end, he wants God’s sacrifice to be his, and for God to bless the altar that he built for him. (Greenberg). This poem that is in the shape of an altar explains how it takes work from the heart to build a relationship with God. In the poem “The Altar”, George Herbert uses allusions to scriptures, he also uses symbolism, and his poem has two themes: religion and art. This poem by George Herbert makes allusions to the scriptures in the Bible. In the first two lines of the poem, he talks about offering a sacrifice to God. Herbert says “A broken ALTAR, Lord, thy servant rears, Made of a heart and cemented with tears;”. These lines refer to the Old Testament Psalms 71:17 which states “The Sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise.” (Bible Gateway) In lines three and four Herbert writes “Whose parts are as thy hand did frame; No workman’s tool hath touch’d the same.” He states that while he was building his altar he is going to stick to the rules that God laid down about altars
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