Usually, Transcendental poetry made use of some kind of meter. Lawrence Buell, “Transcendental Egoism in Very and Whitman,” Literary Transcendentalism: Style and Vision in the American Renaissance (Cornell UP, 1973), 312–330. Himself he had renounced, thus rendering him wide open to God. Transcendentalism clearly eluded succinct definition in Thoreau's time as much as it does in our own. Her passion could not withstand her son's. In this magnum opus Very combined his infatuation with Hamlet (a topic which was later to be expanded in his essay on Hamlet, a companion essay to the Shakespeare piece) with image of Shakespeare as a divinely inspired poet. He is insane with God — diswitted in the contemplation of the holiness of Divinity. His talents are of a high order....Is he insane? [5] His father, also named Jones Very, was a captain during the War of 1812 and was held in Nova Scotia for a time by the British as a prisoner of war. Jones Very was born in 1813 in Salem, Massachusetts to Captain Jones Very and his first cousin Lydia Very. Very produced some of his finest poetry during this period, or rather the spirit of God by way of Very produced some of its finest poetry. 100% (1/1) spiritual spiritually spiritual life. Very found bits of Nature appealing, but only those that conformed with his nearly developed weltanschauung. He was intense and somewhat socially awkward. The summer of 1838 was a pivotal time. However, neither Channing nor Emerson nor Alcott nor Hawthorne nor Sophia Peabody nor Elizabeth Peabody nor in fact anyone was willing to give up all in order to follow him. He was known as a scholar of William Shakespeare and many of his poems were Shakespearean sonnets. Emerson, however, was surprised at Very's behavior in larger groups. When he was released, Emerson helped him issue a collection called Essays and Poems in 1839. David Robinson, “The Exemplary Self and the Transcendent Self in the Poetry of Jones Very… Very did not want his poems changed, for he regarded them to be not his work, but rather the work of the spirit. Emerson would subsequently refer to Very as his "brave saint." He wrote to Emerson asking for more information about him and expressing his opinion of his poetry: "Though comparatively unknown, he seems to be a true poet. That day was September the thirteenth. [28], He was released on October 17, 1838,[25] though he refused to renounce his beliefs. Indeed, he did not leave his house for another several months, communicating with the outside world by way of his family, his letters and his poems. Very's "twelve-month state of grace terminated in September 1839, as he predicted it would" (Gittleman, 360). [9] He composed a poem for the dedication of a new Unitarian church in Salem: "O God; On this, our temple, rest thy smile, Till bent with days its tower shall nod". [19] The first signs of a breakdown came shortly after meeting Emerson, as Very was completing an essay on William Shakespeare. Other members of the official club in Cambridge or adherents to the tenants of Transcendentalism are Helen Hunt Jackson, Louisa May Alcott, William Henry Channing, Jones Very, Elizabeth Peabody, Samuel Longfellow, and Samuel Gray Ward. He seems worthy to be well known. Very continued to spread his gospel throughout the winter. These two consciousnesses, as I may call them, continued with me". His shadowy aspect at times gave him a ghostly air. Very pleaded with both Emerson and his wife Lidian, with whom he formed a rather close relationship. Soon after, Very asserted that he was the Second Coming of Christ, which resulted in his dismissal from Harvard and his eventual institutionalization in an insane asylum. Having learned to avoid those likely to be strongly opposed to his message, he concentrated on converting those who already had one foot in his camp. Jones Very: Emerson’s “Brave Saint.” Durham, N.C.: Duke University Press, 1942. Here is Transcendentalism in whole, with Emerson, Thoreau, and Fuller restored to their place alongside such contemporaries as Bronson Alcott, George Ripley, Jones Very, Theodore Parker, James Freeman Clarke, Orestes Brownson, and Frederick Henry Hedge. Indeed, I know not where you would... find any thing in this country to compare with these Sonnets. Very was, however, a bit too anxious to share his good news of great joy. His whole bearing made an impression as if himself were detached from his thought and his body were another's. This is mysticism in its highest form. Jones Very. [7], As a boy, Very was studious, well-behaved, and solitary. [33] William Ellery Channing admired Very's poetry as well, writing that his insanity "is only superficial". [28] The same month he was released, Very stayed with Emerson at his home in Concord for a week. [11] He graduated from Harvard in 1836, ranked number two in his class. The introductory essay by Charles Capper (pp. During this period he purchased his ticket to the ascetic train which was to carry him to the end of line, the eventual obliteration of self and immersion in the will of God. One of these, the Reverend Upham, was somewhat less than convinced, and had Very forcibly committed to McLean Hospital in nearby Charlestown. Jones thus grew up shy and reserved, and on the outskirts of village life. They never married. As he wrote to Margaret Fuller, "Such a mind cannot be lost". He was to remain without disciples. Transcendentalism was a philosophical movement that developed in the late 1820s and 1830s in the eastern region of the United States. Jones Very was thus the inevitable omega of transcendentalism. Jones Very was thus the inevitable omega of transcendentalism. [2] It was during these years that he held roles as a visiting minister in Eastport, Maine and North Beverly, Massachusetts, though these roles were temporary because he had become too shy. "[43] James Freeman Clarke admired Very's poetry enough to have several published in his journal, the Western Messenger, between 1838 and 1840. Very lived the majority of his life as a recluse from then on, issuing poetry only sparingly. I do not know but I ought to submit to such changes as done by the rightful authority of an Editor but I felt a little sad at the aspect of the piece. [6] When the younger Jones Very was ten, his father, by then a shipmaster, took him on a sailing voyage to Russia. Writers similar to or like Jones Very. After working at an auction house,[8] Very became a paid assistant to the principal of a private school in Salem as a teenager. I was, therefore, fascinated to find an excellent article on transcendentalist poet Jones Very online. But persisting, he attained to the advantage of bringing every man of his acquaintance into true relations with him... To stand in true relations with men in a false age is worth a fit of insanity, is it not?[38]. [30], Emerson saw a kindred spirit in Very and defended his sanity. "[34] He was never widely read, and was largely forgotten by the end of the nineteenth century, but in the 1830s and 1840s the Transcendentalists, including Emerson, as well as William Cullen Bryant, praised his work. "When he is in the room with other persons, speech stops, as if there were a corpse in the apartment", he wrote. The spirit breathed to him a cycle of sonnets, the last of which is entitled "The Garden.". Her passion could not withstand her son's. Transcendentalism has its origins in New England of the early 1800s and the birth of Unitarianism. He heavily studied epic poetry and was invited to lecture on the topic in his home town, which drew the attention of Ralph Waldo Emerson. He wanted to transcend his sinful birth. Read more about Jones Very—Selected Poetry Selected quotes from Coleridge relevant to Nature Emerson and the other Transcendentalists were introduced to the philosophical thought of Coleridge, especially Aids to Reflection, by James Marsh of Vermont, perhaps the American birthplace of Transcendentalism. It was my fortune to have known the man while he was tutor in Harvard College and writing his Sonnets and Essays on Shakespeare, which were edited by Emerson, and published in 1839. Very hoped to remedy that lack in his own person. The spring and summer of 1838 saw Jones Very hard at work on his essay on Shakespeare, which was completed in September. American poet, essayist, clergyman, and mystic associated with the American Transcendentalism movement. What Form do Transcendentalist Poems Take? Very spent five days with Emerson that autumn. The movement was a reaction to, or protest against the general state of intellectualism and spirituality. Lydia Very cursed her hard lot in life with an extreme and vehement passion. These poems tend either to be melancholy paeans to the almighty and Very's relationship thereto or savage indictments of the blindness in men and the hopelessness of their lot. Poems were written in Renaissance mainly in English language. Whether Emerson's witty reply, "that the Spirit should be a better speller," qualified the mystic's vision does not appear otherwise than that the printed volume shows no traces of illiteracy in the text. . Jones Very Jones Very (August 28, 1813 – May 8, 1880) was an American essayist, poet, clergymen, and mystic associated with the American Transcendentalism movement. Outside of a small circle of New England intellectuals, whose response was mixed, although Emerson reviewed it positively in the Dial, the volume was largely ignored. A fire that bright cannot burn perpetually in a man. That same year he discovered Emerson's Nature. He was well-known and respected amongst the Transcendentalists, though he had a mental breakdown early in his career. [13] Though Very never completed his divinity degree, he held temporary pastorates in Maine, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island. To quote the Apostle Paul, "Be imitators of me, as I am of Christ" (1 Cor 11: 1) and "we are the temple of the living God" (2 Cor 6: 16). "[45], The modern reassessment of Jones Very as an author of literary importance can be dated to a 1936 essay by Yvor Winters[46] who wrote of the poet, “In the past two decades two major American writers have been rediscovered and established securely in their rightful places in literary history. [12] Emerson signed Very's personal copy of Nature with the words: "Har[mony] of Man with Nature Must Be Reconciled With God". It was all for naught. Emerson made his first acquaintance with Very just weeks before he was to deliver his Divinity School Address that was to send the Harvard faculty into a paroxysm of consternation. Letter in the manuscript collection at Houghton Library, Harvard University. As his father died when he was just 11, he was raised mostly by his mother--an atheist whom Robert D. Richardson, Jr. … He was known as a scholar of William Shakespeare and many of his poems were Shakespearean sonnets. Transcendentalism is a philosophical movement that developed in the late 1820s and 1830s in the eastern United States. Jones Very (August 28, 1813 – May 8, 1880) was an American poet, essayist, clergyman, and mystic associated with the American Transcendentalism movement. The last traces of self-will were banished. [15] Unlike Hawthorne, Emerson found him "remarkable" and, when Very showed up at his home unannounced along with Cornelius Conway Felton in 1838, Emerson invited several other friends, including Henry David Thoreau, to meet him. She concluded: "I am... greatly interested in Mr Very. Jones Very Selected Poetry. He was known as a scholar of William Shakespeare and many of his poems were Shakespearean sonnets. With the light of grace shining through him so clearly, Very could not remain in his position at Harvard for long. He was 20 years of age when he entered as a sophomore, 3 years older than most of his classmates. [20] In August 1837, while traveling by train, he was suddenly overcome with terror at its speed until he realized he was being "borne along by a divine engine and undertaking his life-journey". [2], Very continued writing throughout his life, though sparingly. [11] During his college years, he was shy, studious, and ambitious of literary fame. Very, in despair of attracting apostles, retired from the world six months after his epiphany. as religiously fervent as Jones Very became affiliated with the Transcendentalist Movement. “Jones Very: A New England Mystic.”, Index entry for Jones Very at Poets' Corner, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Jones_Very&oldid=881574464, Wikipedia articles with MusicBrainz identifiers, Wikipedia articles with SNAC-ID identifiers, Wikipedia articles with SUDOC identifiers, Wikipedia articles with WORLDCATID identifiers, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, This page was last edited on 3 February 2019, at 13:39. Jones Very History Will New Direction We feel unsatisfied until we know ourselves akin even with that greatness which made the spots on which it rested hallowed; and until, by our own lives, and by converse with the thoughts they have bequeathed us, we feel that … Very charmed us all by telling us he hated us all."[12]. Rev. Nature was for Very not a sacred text. Don't Stop Believin' By: Journey "Don't stop believin' Hold on to that feelin'" This song is full of transcendentalist themes. Here was the Second Coming. Her passion could not withstand her son's. Many of his later poems were never collected but only distributed in manuscript form among the Transcendentalists. ... George Ripley, Thomas Treadwell Stone, Jones Very, and Walt Whitman. Very soon attracted the notice of the rather incestuous community of New England intelligentsia. Very began to expand his reading during this period to the literature of the day, particularly the British and German Romantics and, of course, Shakespeare. His essays, primarily his two Bowdoin Prize lectures, strained against the shackles of religious and literary orthodoxy. [14] In 1838, Ralph Waldo Emerson arranged a talk by Very at the Concord Lyceum. He read it carefully, adding marginalia. Jones Very was a precocious young man whose gifts and devotion to his studies enabled him to enter Harvard in 1833 despite his poverty. 1903. His only real contact with his father was a sea voyage lasting two years undertaken when the boy was nine. [4] She believed that marriage was only a moral arrangement and not a legal one. With the light of grace shining through him so clearly, Very could not remain in his position at Harvard for long. He immersed himself in the theology of the Unitarian creed, intending for himself a career as a minister and poet. The man on whom the soul descends, through whom the soul speaks, alone can teach . One of Very's students, a fellow native of Salem named Samuel Johnson Jr., said that people ridiculed Very behind his back since he had "gained the fame of being cracked (or crazy, if you are not acquainted with Harvard technicalities)". Topic. His temperament was delicate and nervous, disposed to visionariness and a dreamy idealism, stimulated by over-studies and the school of thought then in the ascendant. There is, of course, the psychoanalytic interpretation. He was soon dismissed, and returned to the house of his mother in Salem. Transcendentalism was one of the main theological threads in the fabric of American Unitarianism in the 19th C. I’m one of those people who still think of themselves as a transcendentalists. The lyric "Hold on to that feeling" shows seizing the day and nonconformity. Jones Very poet from United States was born on August 28, 1813, had 66 years and died on May 8, 1880. Of prime importance, however, was the spiritual development that was beginning to take place. [11], For a time, Very tried to recruit Nathaniel Hawthorne as a brother figure in his life. Transcendentalism was an American literary, philosophical and political movement in New England in the early 19 th century.. Transcendentalism was the belief in spiritual or transcendental truths beyond sense perception and material existence, according to Octavius Brooks Frothingham in his book Transcendentalism in New England: look for the new Teacher, that shall follow so far those shining laws, that he shall see them come full circle; shall see their rounding complete grace; shall see the world to be the mirror of the soul; shall see the identity of the law of gravitation with purity of heart; and shall show that the Ought, that Duty, is one thing with Science, with Beauty, and with Joy. I refer to Emily Dickinson and Herman Melville. Alcott, Amos Bronson (ed. This can be viewed as an active rebellion against his mother's tenacious defense of atheism. Very Jones was now a pure vessel through which flowed the same spirit of God that had flowed through Jesus Christ. [37] Emerson suggested that Very's temporary mental instability was worth the message he had delivered. Shakespeare was in a sense perfect; his work defined what is man. "[33], Editor and critic Rufus Wilmot Griswold was impressed enough by Very's poetry to include him in the first edition of his anthology The Poets and Poetry of America in 1842. Very wrote to Emerson in July 1842, "Perhaps they were all improvements but I preferred my own lines. Byron was particularly important to him, though he was later to categorically reject Byron's philosophy as he drew closer to his God. He was known as a scholar of William Shakespeare and many of his poems were Shakespearean sonnets. He died in 1880. [12] He was chosen to speak at his commencement; his address was titled "Individuality". George Willis Cooke, comp. In Very, Emerson saw someone that had gone too far; in Emerson, Very saw someone who was unwilling to go far enough. [25] During his stay at the hospital, Very lectured his fellow patients on Shakespeare and on poetry in general. [25], Very was institutionalized for a month at a hospital near Boston,[19] the McLean Asylum, as he wrote, "contrary to my will". [1] By 1827, he left school when his mother told him he must take the place of his father and care for the family. Very was then the dreamy mystic of our circle of Transcendentalists, and a subject of speculation by us. While he was visiting, Emerson wrote in his journal on October 29, "J. During this voyage they visited Kronborg Castle, the home of Hamlet, forming an association which was to haunt and inspire young Very in the years to come. September 18, 1841. After sharing the fullness of his vision with Elizabeth Peabody, he proceeded to enlighten the ministers of the town. The lyric "Don't stop believin'" shows standing up for your rights and This essay was the explication of the ways of Very to men. Jones Very (1813–1880) sister projects: Wikipedia article, Commons category, quotes, Wikidata item. Unable to deal with the temptation, Very decided that the best course of action was to avoid the temptation. [26] As she recalled, He looked much flushed and his eyes very brilliant and unwinking. His plan to destroy all trace of the sensual self and open himself up to the influx of God was proceeding apace, as was evident in his journals and the lovely sonnets he submitted to the Salem Observer, of which "To the Canary Bird" and "Beauty" are excellent examples. . His fellow patients reportedly thanked him as he left. At first, all men agreed he was mad. [29] McLean's superintendent Luther Bell took credit for saving him "from the delusion of being a prophet extraordinaire", which Luther thought was caused by Very's digestive system being "entirely out of order". Jones Very, (born August 28, 1813, Salem, Massachusetts, U.S.—died May 8, 1880, Salem), American Transcendentalist poet and Christian mystic. "[22] Very said he was also tormented by strong sexual desires which he believed were only held in check by the will of God. "[40] He died on May 8, 1880 and, upon hearing of Very's death, Alcott wrote a brief remembrance on May 16, 1880: The newspapers record the death of Jones Very of Salem, Mass. [35] In January 1843, his work was included in the first issue of The Pioneer, a journal edited by James Russell Lowell which also included the first publication of Edgar Allan Poe's "The Tell-Tale Heart".[36]. His mother, Lydia Very, was known for being an aggressive freethinker who made her atheistic beliefs known to all. In respect to the doctrine of the submission of the will, he agreed with them in principle; but whereas they recommended the surrender, he practised it, and they regarded him with amazement.”[48] Subsequently, William Irving Bartlett, in 1942, outlined the basic biographical facts of Very's life in Jones Very, Emerson’s “Brave Saint.”[46] A complete scholarly edition of Very's poetic works belatedly appeared, over a century after the poet's death, in 1993.[49]. . [39] In his last forty years, Very did very little. [2] He was the oldest of six children, born out of wedlock to two first cousins;[3] his sister Lydia also became a writer. Jones Very is similar to these writers: Walt Whitman, Margaret Fuller, Emily Dickinson and more. The few friendships he formed tended to be with his professors. He did not fathom the ways of God; he did not allow God to fully express himself through him. What he lacked, a gift that Shakespeare consciously declined, was a perfect wisdom. It struck me at once that there was something unnatural—and dangerous in his air—As soon as we were within the parlor door he laid his hand on my head—and said "I come to baptize you with the Holy Ghost and with Fire"—and then he prayed. His father died on the return trip,[3] apparently due to a lung disease he contracted while in Nova Scotia. He was known as a scholar of William Shakespeare and many of his poems were Shakespearean sonnets. 1 Works. George Willis Cooke, comp. She loved her children with a smothering love even as she despised her neighbors and their religion, often to the point of near-hysteria. [24] After returning to Salem, he visited Elizabeth Peabody on September 16, 1838,[25] apparently having given up his rule "not to speak or look at women". Very considered himself to be this new Teacher. Emerson disagreed. In 1836 Very assumed the role of Greek Tutor and unofficial divinity student. The bubbling brook doth leap when I come by, Because my feet find measure with its call, The birds know when the friend they love is nigh, For I am known to them both great and small; The flower that on the lovely hill-side grows He was released after a month when the hospital realized that a) he was harmless and b) they could do nothing for him. [16] Even so, in May 1838, the same month Very published his "Epic Poetry" lecture in the Christian Examiner, Emerson brought Very to a meeting of the Transcendental Club, where the topic of discussion was "the question of mysticism". 1903. The principal, Henry Kemble Oliver, exposed his young assistant to philosophers and writers, including James Mackintosh, to influence his religious beliefs and counteract his mother's atheism. Jones Very was an American essayist, poet, clergymen, and mystic associated with the American Transcendentalism movement. [32] The poems collected in this volume were chiefly Shakespearean sonnets. Jones Very (1813-1880). Barlett, William Irving. His father spent a great deal of time at sea, therefore seeing little of his family. [14] Emerson made up for the meager $10 payment by inviting Very to his home for dinner. Yet there was more. American essayist, poet, and mystic associated with the American Transcendentalism movement Jones Very . His fascination with Hamlet should not come as a surprise. Very was born on August 28, 1813,[1] in Salem, Massachusetts and spent much of his childhood at sea. Amos Bronson Alcott wrote of Very in December 1838: I received a letter on Monday of this week from Jones Very of Salem, formerly Tutor in Greek at Harvard College — which institution he left, a few weeks since, being deemed insane by the Faculty. In a sense he was taking the tenets of Christianity and of particularly Transcendentalism to their logical conclusion, or at least one of their logical conclusions. [31] He helped Very publish a small volume, Essays and Poems in 1839. There was no self left, therefore all was Divine, and the figure of Christ had returned to earth in the form of a man. There he was befriended by Elizabeth Peabody, who wrote to Emerson suggesting Very lecture in Concord. This, however, was only the first stage. [27] While there, he finished an essay on Hamlet, arguing that the play is about "the great reality of a soul unsatisfied in its longings after immortality" and that "Hamlet has been called mad, but as we think, Shakespeare thought more of his madness than he did of the wisdom of the rest of the play". A year later, his father had Very serve as a cabin boy on a trip to New Orleans, Louisiana. Odell Shepard). [18], Very was known as an eccentric, prone to odd behavior and may have suffered from bipolar disorder. [42] She mocked the "sing song" style of the poems and questioned his religious mission. She was quickly converted to his cause. JONES VERY, THE TRANSCENDENTALISTS, AND THE UNITARIAN TRADITION DAVID ROBINSON UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN MADISON, WISCONSIN 53706 Although he considered himself set apart from the world, a man through whom the Spirit revealed a higher truth, Jones Very has consistently provided his critics with an irresistible challenge He was well-known and respected amongst the Transcendentalists, though he had a mental breakdown early in his career. He was also finding his poetic voice, aided by his shift from heroic couplets to the far more appropriate sonnet form. 605–619) charts the place of transcendentalism in American literary history. [21] As he told Henry Ware Jr., professor of pulpit eloquence and pastoral care at Harvard Divinity School, divine inspiration helped him suddenly understand the twenty-fourth chapter of the Gospel of Matthew and that Christ was having his Second Coming within him. Very often came to see me. Living, not thinking, he regards as the worship meet for the soul. Jones Very serves as reminder that the Transcendentalist attempt to revise the relationship between the individual and society was not as simple as the Hallmark version of Thoreau (“Go confidently in the direction of your dreams, live the life you have imagined!”), and that the challenge to rationality was not always as abstract as Emerson’s “transparent eyeball.” Transcendentalism was a group of new ideas in literature, religion, culture, and philosophy that emerged in New England in the early to mid-nineteenth century. He was soon to develop a zealous belief that was far more powerful than his mother's zealous refusal to believe. . It was rather the work of a similar though far from identical mind. Griswold, Rufus W. to Ralph Waldo Emerson. I am proposing the establishment of a third.”[47] Winters, in speaking of Very's relations with Emerson and his circle, concluded, “The attitude of the Transcendentalists toward Very is instructive and amusing, and it proves beyond cavil how remote he was from them. Very plunged whole-heartedly into his work, so much so that he graduated second in his class. The Poets of Transcendentalism: An Anthology [41], The first critical review of Very's book was written by Margaret Fuller and published in Orestes Brownson's Boston Quarterly Review; it said Very's poems had "an elasticity of spirit, a genuine flow of thought, and unsought nobleness and purity", though she admitted she preferred the prose in the collection over the poetry. His childhood was unconventional, his college career exemplary, and his religious enthusiasm literate and profound. He was granted by God perfect genius, perfect knowledge of this mortal coil. When Ware did not believe him, Very said, "I had thought you did the will of the Father, and that I should receive some sympathy from you—But I now find that you are doing your own will, and not the will of your father". [18] Harvard president Josiah Quincy III relieved Very of his duties, referring to a "nervous collapse" that required him to be left in the care of his younger brother Washington Very, himself a freshman at Harvard. Emerson did not believe Very's claim and, noting the poor writing, he asked, "cannot the spirit parse & spell? Share. Jones Very was thus the inevitable omega of transcendentalism.

jones very transcendentalism

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