Edward Hirsch: Caedmon’s Hymn

Edward Hirsch
Caedmon connects the energy of language with the power of divine spirit, and his religious poetry of praise inaugurates a tradition. It’s possible, too, that Bede was promoting that tradition via Caedmon. This way of connecting language to the divine looks backward to Genesis 1 and forward to Thomas Traherne, Henry Vaughan, and Christopher Smart, who sings of the transcendent virtue of praise itself.