The Works of Thomas Traherne VI: Poems from the Dobell Folio , <I>Poems of Felicity</I>, <I>The Ceremonial Law</I>, Poems from the Early Notebook

Series: Works of Thomas Traherne (v. 6)

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Thomas Traherne (1637?-1674), a clergyman of the Church of England during the Restoration, was little known until the early twentieth century, when his poetry and Centuries of Meditations were first printed. There have been since only miscellaneous publications of his poetry and devotional writings. The Works of Thomas Traherne brings together for the first time all Traherne's extant works, including his notebooks, in a definitive, printed edition. The poems in this volume are independent, not extracted from Traherne's prose, and demonstrate the range of his imagination. Each poem has its own unique form, line numbers, meter and rhyme, and they are personal in nature with a didactic purpose, filled with joy and thanksgiving. They are also new transcriptions from four manuscripts, held variously at the Bodleian, the British Library, and the Folger Shakespeare Library. They include thirty-seven autograph poems from the Dobell Folio ; Poems of Felicity, taken from Philip Traherne's incomplete edition of his brother's poems; The Ceremonial Law, an incomplete, autograph, narrative poem in rhyming couplets, wherein Traherne not only gives a reading of events in the Old Testament as types fulfilled in the New, but also interprets his own spiritual journey in terms of the stories from Pentateuch; and the Early Notebook , made up of notes from various sources, probably from Thomas's undergraduate days, as well as five autograph poems. Included in the Appendix are the Manuscript foliation of Poems and The Story of the Traherne MSS. by their Finder by William T. Brooke; a glossary and index of titles and first lines complete the volume.