Jones Very

The Complete Poems

Title Details

Pages: 968

Trim size: 6.120in x 9.250in



Pub Date: 06/01/1993

ISBN: 9-780-8203-1481-5

List Price: $114.95

Related Subjects

POETRY / American / General

Jones Very

The Complete Poems

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  • Description

This complete scholarly edition of the poems of Jones Very (1813-80) provides the requisite materials for a major reappraisal of his work and standing among the significant figures of American Transcendentalism. Collecting 862 poems, the volume makes available for the first time all of Very's known poems, including much previously unpublished or uncollected material.

Very, a New England Transcendentalist and a protégé of Ralph Waldo Emerson, is one of the underrated American poets of the nineteenth century. Though he attracted a select audience in his day, serious study of Very's work in this century has been hampered by the lack of a complete, convenient, and reliable edition of his poetry. Perhaps even more discouraging to readers of older collections of Very's poems has been the puzzling variance in the style and quality of the verse. This edition, in which the poems are dated and chronologically arranged, reveals the three stages of Very's poetic development, out of which the distinctive genius of the second period clearly emerges. Written under the influence of a powerful psychological/spiritual experience, the ecstatic utterances of this period are by turns breathless in their intensity and tranquil in their serene contentment.

This complete edition presents a critical, unmodernized, clear-text version of each poem, reflecting as nearly as possible the author's final intention. A textual introduction outlines editorial procedures and problems, and a general introduction places Very among his contemporaries, discusses the mystical experience that transformed his life and poetry, reviews the major related criticism, and assesses his poetic achievements. Historical notes and a full textual apparatus complete the edition.

About the Author/Editor

HELEN R. DEESE is the Caroline Healey Dall editor for the Massachusetts Historical Society and a professor of English emerita at Tennessee Technological University. She lives in Flint and Ann Arbor, Michigan. Her books include Robert Lowell: Essays on the Poetry (coedited with Steven Gould Axelrod), Daughter of Boston, and volumes in the Selected Journals of Caroline Healey Dall.