An Explication of “Meditations – First Series 6”
This poem by Edward Taylor dramatizes the conflict between society’s idea of who is worthy of heaven and who God actually saves. The speaker is someone who, although everyone else thinks his soul is predestined, doesn’t know his worth to God. In order to better describe his situation the speaker relates his situation to earthly treasures, such as gold or money. The poem is written almost as a prayer in the sense that the questions aren’t answered and the problem isn’t solved but instead is offered up to God. The poem consists of three stanzas, the first of which has a ababcb rhyme scheme. The first line presents a question “Am I Thy gold?” (1). It is widely agreed that gold is a valuable thing, especially in the time period the poem was written, so the real question is “Am I of value to you?” or “What’s my worth?”. It could even be taken as far as the speaker asking “Will I be saved?”. He’s asking these questions because he’s worried, he wonders if he just thinks his soul is pure as he expresses in this line “Lest gold-washed face, and brass in heart I be. I fear my touchstone touches when I try Me, and my counted gold to overly” (4, 5, 6). In the second stanza the speaker suggests that he wants to see only through God and wants to belong to God as he states here “Be Thou my spectacles that I may read Thine image and inscription stamped on me” (9, 10). Spectacles are another word for glasses, knowing this the reader can assume that the speaker wants to see God’s image of him. The last two lines of the stanza basically state that if God has chosen him he will be loyal. In the last stanza the speaker depicts his soul as a plate and how he wants God’s image to be printed on its center. The last two lines are what the speaker wants engraved on the plate (his soul). “Then I shall be Thy money, Thou my hoard: Let me Thy angel be, be Thou my Lord” (17, 18). The last line is balanced in a way that makes what he is saying...
Please join StudyMode to read the full document