Little is known about British clergyman Thomas Traherne’s life. He was born in 1637 and may have grown up near the border of Wales. He studied at Oxford University and published one book, Roman Forgeries (1673). However, much of his poetry was never printed during his lifetime. More than 200 years after his death, some of his manuscripts were discovered in a bookseller’s stall and publishedin 1903 as Poetical Works. Another manuscript was discovered in the British Museum and published in 1910. In 1967, more poems were found, this time in a dump by a man looking for used auto parts, and published as Commentaries of Heaven: The Poems (1989). Considered a metaphysical poet in the tradition of John Donne and George Herbert, Traherne often addressed faith, divinity, and the innocence of childhood, using peculiar syntax and repetition to achieve incantatory effects. He died in 1674.
What People are Saying
"I did not expect to fall in love with poetry. I just expected to recite and be done with it. After just sitting there and analyzing my poems, I realized that the stories told through these few words mean so much. I had to step out of myself and step into the author's shoes, and with that comes great work."
Kyla Rose Bates