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George Herbert and Robert Gayda

December 31, 2008
G Richard Yamagata -- yamagata@dcn.davis.ca.us


According to Robert Gayda and Richard Dominguez, M.D. the importance of your feet is clearly layed out in their book "Total Body Training", 1982.

Who is Robert Gayda? Among many other distinguishing titles, he is a Triple Crown Winner, Mr. America, Mr. USA and Mr. Universe. He is a registered Kinesiotherapist and Sports Trainer. Who is Richard Dominguez, M.D.? He is a board certified orthopedic surgeon and Co-Medical Director of the SportsMed Center for fitness in Carol Stream, Illinois.

A famous poem by George Herbert reads:

For want of a nail the shoe is lost,
For want of a shoe the horse is lost,
For want of a horse the rider is lost,
For want of a rider the battle is lost,
For want of the battle, the kingdom is lost!

Gayda and Dominguez rephrased that poem:

For want of a stable foot the knee is lost,
For want of a stable knee the hip is lost,
For want of a stable hip the back is lost,
For want of a stable back the shoulder is lost,
For want of a stable shoulder girdle the arm is lost;
For want of a stable head and neck all is lost!

"These poems illustrate a principle called serial distortion. This means that if a part is not in structurally stable position, it puts abnormal pressure and distorting forces on the structure above and below it, causing them to be distorted in turn."

Who is George Herbert? George Herbert (3 April 1593 1 March 1633) was a Welsh poet, orator and a priest. Being born into an artistic and wealthy family, he received a good education which led to his holding prominent positions at Cambridge University and Parliament. As a student at Trinity College, Cambridge, England, George Herbert excelled in languages and music. He went to college with the intention of becoming a priest, but his scholarship attracted the attention of King James I. Herbert served in parliament for two years. After the death of King James and at the urging of a friend, Herbert's interest in ordained ministry was renewed. In 1630, in his late thirties he gave up his secular ambitions and took holy orders in the Church of England, spending the rest of his life as a rector of the little parish of St. Andrew Bemerton, near Salisbury. He was noted for unfailing care for his parishioners, bringing the sacraments to them when they were ill, and providing food and clothing for those in need. Throughout his life he wrote religious poems characterized by a precision of language, a metrical versatility, and an ingenious use of imagery or conceits that was favoured by the metaphysical school of poets. He is best remembered as a writer of poems and the hymn "Come, My Way, My Truth, My Life." He is commemorated on 27 February throughout the Anglican Communion and on 1 March of the Calendar of Saints of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.

Early life

Herbert was born in Montgomery in Wales. His family was wealthy, eminent, intellectual and fond of the arts. His mother Magdalen was a patron and friend of John Donne and other poets; his older brother Edward, later Lord Herbert of Cherbury, was an important poet and philosopher, often referred to as "the father of English deism". Herbert's father died when George was three, leaving a widow and ten children.

After graduating from Westminster School and Trinity College, Cambridge (where he achieved degrees with distinction), Herbert was elected a major fellow of his college. In 1618 he was appointed Reader in Rhetoric at Cambridge and in 1620 he was elected to the post of Cambridge University orator, whose duties would be served by poetic skill. He held this position until 1628.

In 1624 he became a Member of Parliament, representing Montgomeryshire. While these positions were suited to a career at court, and James I had shown him favour, circumstances worked against him: the King died in 1625, and two influential patrons of Herbert died later in the decade.

Priesthood He took up his duties in Bemerton, a rural parish in Wiltshire, about 75 miles southwest of London in 1630. Here he preached and wrote poetry; also helping to rebuild the church out of his own funds.

In 1633 Herbert finished a collection of poems entitled The Temple: Sacred Poems and Private Ejaculations, which imitates the architectural style of churches through both the meaning of the words and their visual layout. The themes of God and love are treated by Herbert as much as psychological forces as metaphysical phenomena.

Suffering from poor health, Herbert died of tuberculosis only three years after taking holy orders. On his deathbed, he reportedly gave the manuscript of The Temple to Nicholas Ferrar, the founder of a semi-monastic Anglican religious community at Little Gidding (a name best known today through the poem Little Gidding by T. S. Eliot), telling him to publish the poems if he thought they might "turn to the advantage of any dejected poor soul", and otherwise, to burn them. In less than 50 years, The Temple: Sacred Poems and Private Ejaculations had gone through thirteen printings.

Works All of Herbert's English surviving poems are religious, and some have been used as hymns. They are characterised by directness of expression and some conceits which can appear quaint. Many of the poems have intricate rhyme schemes, and variations of lines within stanzas.

Herbert also wrote A Priest to the Temple (or The Country Parson) offering practical advice to country parsons. In it, he advises that "things of ordinary use" such as ploughs, leaven, or dances, could be made to "serve for lights even of Heavenly Truths".

His Jacula Prudentium (sometimes seen as Jacula Prudentum), a collection of pithy proverbs published in 1651, included many sayings still repeated today, for example "His bark is worse than his bite."

Richard Baxter said, "Herbert speaks to God like one that really believeth a God, and whose business in the world is most with God. Heart-work and heaven-work make up his books". Dame Helen Gardner adds "head-work" because of his "intellectual vivacity".

Herbert influenced his fellow metaphysical poet Henry Vaughan who, in turn, influenced William Wordsworth.

George Herbert's poetry has been set to music by several composers, including Ralph Vaughan Williams, Lennox Berkeley, Judith Weir, Randall Thompson, William Walton and Patrick Larley.

Herbert also wrote poems in Greek and in Latin. The latter mainly concern ceremonial controversy with the Puritans, but include a response to Pope Urban VIII's treatment of the ROMA AMOR anagram.

For More Information, Visit These Links:
Murray Space Shoes
All Poems of George Herbert
George Herbert in Wikipedia

To inquire about ordering any of the above mentioned books from an independent bookstore,
Bogey's Books at discounted prices [ Click Here ]

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