Talk On Thomas Traherene,
by Reverend Jim Dobson
on Tuesday 14th May 2019 at the Octagon. St Mary's Lillington at 200 p.m.

We heard an interesting talk by the Rev. Jim Dobson on the little-known 17th century poet Thomas Traherene.  His poetry was not published until 1903, following a lucky find of his MSS in an antique stall.  He was born near Hereford, son of a shoemaker, but sent to school thanks to a wealthy innkeeper, twice Mayor of Hereford. After taking a degree at Oxford, he became Rector of Credenhill, where he spent his life, moving to London a year before his death in 1674.

His poetry is reminiscent of Wordsworth’s, in his emphasis on the joys of childhood, but his main theme is the mystical yearning for closeness to God.  He gives ecstatic thanks for God’s goodness and expresses his sense of wonder at the mysteries of the Universe.  He is a minor but interesting poet in the tradition of the metaphysical poets, and foreshadows the Romantic poets of the 19
th century.

John Henderson