Quote of the Day
Devotedly, unostentatiously, Carcanet has evolved into a poetry publisher whose independence of mind and largeness of heart have made everyone who cares about literature feel increasingly admiring and grateful.
Subscribe to our mailing list
Select Meditations (2e)
Edited by Julia Smith
Categories: 17th Century, British, Christianity
Imprint: Fyfield Books
Publisher: Carcanet Press
Paperback 2e (208 pages)
(Pub. Sep 2009)
If Good works be so Rich and lovly O what fruitfull Trees are they that bear them, O what living fountaines! O what Treasure is Laid up in the Ages for God and us to be Delighted in... How infinitly are we Exalted as Lords and Kings, in being created free, And how infinitly shall we reign with thee, if we use our freedom as we ought to do! O giv me Grace to remember this, and to feel it always!
Select Meditations is among the earliest works of the poet and mystic Thomas Traherne (1637-74). Written shortly after the Restoration of Charles II in 1660, the manuscript was not discovered until 1964 and first published by Carcanet in 1997. Traherne, a young clergyman in a country parish at the time, explores his relationship with God and his vocation to 'teach Immortal Souls the way to Heaven'. It is a spiritual journey that involves examination of his doubts and failings (he confesses to 'too much... proneness to Speak'), of the political issues that shaped his times, and of the realities of ministering to his congregation. Above all, though, Traherne's meditations celebrate the beauty of the world and the human community transfigured by the love of God, in terms that speak across time. 'Remember', he writes, 'that the world is the beginning of Gifts.'
Julia J. Smith's landmark edition, preserving the original spelling, provides a detailed introduction and notes on the text.
Cover photograph: Detail from the Thomas Traherne windows in the Audley Chapel at Hereford Cathedral. Reproduced by kind permission of the Dean and Chapter of Hereford Cathedral. Cover design StephenRaw.com.
Preface by Louis L. Martz
A Note on the Text
The First Century
The Second Century
The Third Century
The Fourth Century
Select Meditations, II.30-32, from the Osborn manuscript
We thank the Arts Council England for their support and assistance in this interactive Project.
This website ©2000-2022 Carcanet Press Ltd