Precious Poet by Thomas Howard

Precious Poet

William Cowper: Selected Poetry and Prose
edited by David Lyle Jeffrey
Regent College Publishing, 2007
(188 pages, $18.95, paperback)

reviewed by Thomas Howard

If anyone still knows the name of William Cowper (pronounced “Cooper”) besides graduate students in English, it will be Protestants who may on occasion find themselves singing one of his hymns, most notably “Oh! For a closer walk with God,” although under the seismic wave of “Praise Songs,” this hymn may have been lost along with the entire treasury of English-language hymnody.

In good eighteenth-century fashion, Cowper wrote immensely long poems, not all of them easily readable to modern readers. H . . .