Friday, June 19, 2015


Felicities by Thomas Traherne, edited by Sir Arthur Quiller-Couch, 114 pages

Thomas Traherne was one of the 17th century Metaphysical poets.  An Anglican priest, he lived and died in obscurity, but his unpublished works were discovered in manuscript form in the late 19th century.  Upon publication, they established their author's reputation as a remarkable poet and mystic, a 17th century forerunner of figures like Blake and Hopkins.

Felicities is an amalgamation of selections from Traherne's works, primarily Poems of Felicity and Centuries of Meditations, chosen and organized by Quiller-Couch into loose thematic groups.  It is a tribute to the sensibility of the editor that this succeeds, giving good tastes of Traherne's poetry and spirituality.  While Traherne is not the equal of Donne or Herbert either aesthetically or intellectually, he certainly deserves better than to be forgotten.

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