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Edited by Dick Davis
ISBN: 978 0 856352 31 7
Categories: 17th Century, Anglican
Published: January 1992
190 x 130 x 7 mm
Publisher: Carcanet Press
Is better far
Than many precious stones:
One sun, which is above in glory seen,
Is worth ten thousand golden thrones:
A juicy herb or spire of grass
In useful virtue, native green,
An emerald doth surpass,
Hath in't more value, though less seen.
from THE APOSTASY
Thomas Traherne's poems were discovered in London in 1896 and originally assigned in error to Henry Vaughan. Later scholarship has established their true authorship. Traherne (1637-1674) was a remarkable religious writer. The son of a Hereford shoe-maker, he was well-educated, took religious orders and pursued a varied career. Prior to the discovery of his poems, he was best known for his Centuries of Meditations, of which passages from the third are most widely anthologised. The visionary precision of his prose characterises his verse as well: he is not an altogether orthodox mystic.
Dick Davis presents a selection from the full range of Traherne's poetry and prose and provides a critical and biographical introduction.
Table of Contents
A NOTE ON THE TEXT
The Author to the Critical Peruser
Shadows in the Water
On leaping over the Moon
An Hymm upon St Bartholomew's Day
On the Bible
from The First Century
from The Second Century
from The Third Century
Awards won by Dick Davis Winner, 1981 Royal Society of Literature Award (Seeing the World)
Praise for Dick Davis 'It is marvelous to find a poet whose poetry lives through its metre. His handling of it is masterful, and you are never aware of the effort. And the language is exact but relentless, like the perceptions . . . Davis is one of the best poets around.'
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