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‘Walking’: A Poem by Thomas Traherne

In terms of having the longest wait for a posthumous poetic reputation to begin, the seventeenth-century poet Thomas Traherne (c. 1637-74) may take first prize. Over a century before Romanticism, Traherne describes how walking amongst nature can provide us with an appreciation of the beauty all around us. But Traherne’s poetry was not discovered and published until after Romanticism had had its heyday – his work began to appear in print in the early twentieth century!

Walking

To walk abroad is, not with eyes,
But thoughts, the fields to see and prize;
Else may the silent feet,
Like logs of wood,
Move up and down, and see no good
Nor joy nor glory meet. Read the rest of this entry

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A Very Short Biography of Thomas Traherne

An introduction to the life of a curious poet

It’s not often that a poet only achieves real renown after his death: Gerard Manley Hopkins is one such example, with much of his poetry only seeing publication nearly thirty years after his death. But in terms of having the longest wait for your posthumous reputation to begin, the seventeenth-century poet Thomas Traherne (c. 1637-74) may take first prize. In this post we offer a very short biography of Traherne, paying particular attention to the interesting aspects of his life – what little we know of Traherne’s life for certain – and the curious fate of his poetry. Read the rest of this entry