I have had the pleasure of being given a wonderful resource by the company Everyday Education, LLC for the purpose of this review.
This time around, I decided to be the “student” and work on the product myself, although I think I may use it later with my kids, too.
Everyday Education, LLC gave the Homeschool Review Crew members three different products to choose from:
- Perfect Reading, Beautiful Handwriting (elementary or remedial)
- Excellence in Literature Handbook for Writers (high school into college)
- Working it Out: Poetry Analysis with George Herbert.
I was fortunate enough to receive Working It Out: Poetry Analysis with George Herbert. I received a PDF version of the book, along with an introductory PDF to help understand what I would be doing. It is also available as a physical book, for those who really prefer to hold one in their hands and actually feel the pages (grin.)
I enjoy poetry, but to be completely honest with you, I had never before even heard of George Herbert. He was a poet in the seventeenth century, and focused largely on poetry that he seemed to be writing to “work out his own salvation,” as the Apostle Paul instructed the church at Phillipi. He is considered to be one of “only a few extraordinary devotional poets in the English language.” (from a quote by Harold Bloom in “The Best Poems of the English Language.”
“Working It Out,” by Joseph L. Womack, is a wonderful, year long study/devotional using the poetry of George Herbert. This book has over 50 of George Herbert’s poems within it, which really show the spiritual struggles and peace that Herbert worked through, and found. Each poem has with it a commentary along with reflections (questions for personal thinking) as well as scriptures for further reflection, which for me, do help in my ability to connect with the poems on a personal level.
In using this book to both learn how to study poetry, we see the above mentioned commentary, reflections and scripture, but prior to that (after reading a poem) we see the following:
- The Big Picture (or, what the poem is about)
- The Parts of the Picture (this is a stanza-by-stanza explanation of the poem)
- The Parts of the Picture Come Together (putting the “parts” back together, giving a better understanding of the flow and meaning of the poem.
Janice Campbell from Everyday Education, LLC discovered the book Working It Out when she was working on the first edition of British Literature (English 4) for a curriculum company, and found that it worked perfectly to be added to the context resources for the course. She did just that, and then offered it through that curriculum’s website. Eventually, the author let her know he was retiring and would no longer be publishing it, at which time Ms. Campbell offered to keep it in print for him. Because she was able to do this, we continue to have this wonderful study to work through and learn from!
Working It Out was written mostly as a devotional, but truly, it also teaches a thoughtful way of reading and understanding poetry in general, which means it would help when studying other poets, as well.
I am enjoying this study, and plan to continue with it. It can be done over a year’s time, or if you wish to take your time, maybe two years, by taking two weeks per poem for study. This is most likely what will work best for me, as I find it difficult to get through one per week. I feel confident in recommending Working it Out: Poetry Analysis with George Herbert to you, my readers. I think you will find it a thoughtful analysis, and a good way to study poetry in general.
To read what other Homeschool Review Crew members thought of this and other products from Everyday Education, LLC, please click on the banner below, and you will find 99 other fair and honest reviews!
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