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Selected Writings

Thomas Traherne

Edited by Dick Davis

No Text
Categories: 17th Century, Christianity
Imprint: Fyfield Books
Publisher: Carcanet Press
Available as:
Paperback (128 pages)
(Pub. Jan 1992)
Out of Stock
  • Description
  • Excerpt
  • Editor
  • Contents
  • Awards
  • Reviews
  •            One star
           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



    The Author to the Critical Peruser

    The Salutation




    The Preparative



    My Spirit


    The Person


    The Rapture


    On News

    The Apostasy




    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

    Dick Davis
    Dick Davis was born in Portsmouth, England, in 1945, and educated at the universities of Cambridge (B.A. and M.A. in English Literature) and Manchester (Ph.D. in Medieval Persian Literature). He lived in Iran for eight years from 1970 to 1978, and also for some time in both Italy and Greece. He ... read more
    Awards won by Dick Davis Winner, 1981 Royal Society of Literature Award (Seeing the World)
    Praise for Dick Davis 'Original poetry and translated Persian verse weave together into a single life, translation as border and as invitation.'
    A.E. Stallings, The TLS
    '...throughout Love in Another Language, a strange perfusion of elements is at work, at once familiar and exotic; there are bizarre depths, weird echoes, beneath the seemingly traditional and seemingly quite "English surfaces of the poems... Dick Davis's collected poems of over forty-three years constitute what the great Persian poet Nizami called a "makhzan-i-asrar", a treasure-house of mysteries and perfected marvels.'

    Eric Ormsby, the TLS

    '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.'
    Thom Gunn
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