Christian Humanist Profiles 173: Scripture and the English Poetic Imagination

There’s a lot of poetry in the Bible. Anyone who flips through its pages can see how many have that telltale jagged edge of printed verse. But it’s not only proportion: the weightiest moments, the loftiest sayings of scripture are poetic, especially the voice of God, whether through the Word of the prophets or the incarnate Word Himself. There’s also a lot of Bible in poetry—or at least the poetry of the English language. God’s own stories, symbols, and style are deeply ingrained in the poetry of English speakers from the earliest recorded instance. As David Jeffrey puts it, “the collective ‘voice’ of our poetic tradition in English discloses a mode of imagination and creativity … in dialogue with a precedent Voice”—God’s, in the Bible. In this episode of Christian Humanist Profiles, David Grubbs interviews Dr. David Lyle Jeffrey, Distinguished Professor of Literature and the Humanities at Baylor University and author of Scripture and the English Poetic Imagination (Baker Academic, 2019).

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