A Comparative Perspective on Kabir and George Herbert's Poetry

Sucheta Chaturvedi
Department of English, Lakshmibai College, Delhi University, India.


Plum Analytics


The Bhakti movement in India attempted reforms by fighting caste rigidities and superstitions. Almost around the same time the Cambridge reformers were attempting to reform the Catholic Church and propagating Protestant ideas. This paper attempts a comparative perspective on George Herbert’s poetry in relation to some aspects of Bhakti poetry in India, especially with reference to Kabir. George Herbert who was a Metaphysical poet is classified as a devotional poet for the corpus of religious poetry he wrote. The approach of this Metaphysical poet and poets like Kabir from the Bhakti movement has certain points of comparison. Certain similarities in the discourse of the disciple as slave to his Lord; as the lover in search of a union etc. finds place in this discussion. This paper engages in a close study of the religious poetry of George Herbert and that of Kabir in relation to the trends of the Bhakti movement. The language used by most Bhakti poets is simple and words from the vernacular languages of India find a presence in pure or mixed form. Kabir uses the ‘sadhukkadi’ or ‘khichdi’ language. Though Herbert wrote in the English language the world-view of both the poets is quite similar. Some of the images and the philosophy that manifests itself in the two poets are examined through this comparative study.


  • Bhakti movement,
  • Metaphysical poetry,
  • Doha,
  • Religious reform


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Article Details

Volume 2, Issue 4, Year 2021

Published 2021-12-09