The poems collected in this volume were chiefly Shakespearean sonnets. There had been foreshadowing in his work that his mission was to last only a year. In 1836 Very assumed the role of Greek Tutor and unofficial divinity student. He was well-known and respected amongst the Transcendentalists, though he had a mental breakdown early in his career. Griswold, Rufus W. to Ralph Waldo Emerson. , Emerson saw a kindred spirit in Very and defended his sanity. He was well-known and respected amongst the Transcendentalists, though he had a mental breakdown early in his career. There he was befriended by Elizabeth Peabody, who wrote to Emerson suggesting Very lecture in Concord. Very soon attracted the notice of the rather incestuous community of New England intelligentsia.  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". Her passion could not withstand her son's. This is mysticism in its highest form. ... George Ripley, Thomas Treadwell Stone, Jones Very, and Walt Whitman.  His first few poems were published in his hometown newspaper, the Salem Observer, while he completed his studies. It was rather the work of a similar though far from identical mind. 1 Works. Jones Very was thus the inevitable omega of transcendentalism. ", The modern reassessment of Jones Very as an author of literary importance can be dated to a 1936 essay by Yvor Winters 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. He wanted to save her, bring her into the fold, a task that would require an extraordinary action. He was well-known and respected amongst the Transcendentalists, though he had a mental breakdown early in his career. Jones Very believed his role as a prophet would last only twelve months. Jones Very was thus the inevitable omega of transcendentalism. As his father died when he was just 11, he was raised mostly by his mother--an atheist whom Robert D. Richardson, Jr. … Letter in the manuscript collection at Houghton Library, Harvard University. Share. Emerson, however, was surprised at Very's behavior in larger groups.  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". . Emerson wrote in his essay "The American Scholar": "We will walk on our own feet; we will work with Jones Very was an American essayist, poet, clergymen, and mystic associated with the American Transcendentalism movement. The Violet. Very continued to spread his gospel throughout the winter. Jones Very was born in 1813 in Salem, Massachusetts to Captain Jones Very and his first cousin Lydia Very. Very as a tutor was much beloved by his students. After sharing the fullness of his vision with Elizabeth Peabody, he proceeded to enlighten the ministers of the town. 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?. While he was visiting, Emerson wrote in his journal on October 29, "J. , Very was known as an eccentric, prone to odd behavior and may have suffered from bipolar disorder. Very often came to see me. Though his friends had feared for his martyrdom, it had not occurred. 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 … He was known as a scholar of William Shakespeare and many of his poems were Shakespearean sonnets. Contents. The fullness of God had departed from his frame. If so, there yet linger glimpses of wisdom in his memory. The spirit breathed to him a cycle of sonnets, the last of which is entitled "The Garden.". He was soon to develop a zealous belief that was far more powerful than his mother's zealous refusal to believe. 1903. The introductory essay by Charles Capper (pp. Nature.  In 1838, Ralph Waldo Emerson arranged a talk by Very at the Concord Lyceum. 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.  Emerson was sympathetic with Very's plight because he himself had recently been ostracized after his controversial lecture, the "Divinity School Address". He wanted to transcend his sinful birth. Very was then the dreamy mystic of our circle of Transcendentalists, and a subject of speculation by us. 1903. 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".  William Ellery Channing admired Very's poetry as well, writing that his insanity "is only superficial". He was intense and somewhat socially awkward.  In his last forty years, Very did very little. Very considered himself to be this new Teacher. Very's attempts to stoke the flames were ineffectual. 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). Jones Very was a precocious young man whose gifts and devotion to his studies enabled him to enter Harvard in 1833 despite his poverty. Jones Very (28 August 1813-8 May 1880), Transcendentalist poet and friend of Emerson and Hawthorne, is today best known for his intensely pious religious sonnets describing the nature of the "will-less existence" which he attempted to live and popularize in the late 1830s. His childhood was unconventional, his college career exemplary, and his religious enthusiasm literate and profound. The few friendships he formed tended to be with his professors. She concluded: "I am... greatly interested in Mr Very. Jones Very spent the remaining forty years of his life basking in the afterglow. His mother was a passionate woman, outcast from society for her devotion to disbelief. Very's "twelve-month state of grace terminated in September 1839, as he predicted it would" (Gittleman, 360). Transcendentalism is a philosophical movement that developed in the late 1820s and 1830s in the eastern United States.wikipedia. , As a boy, Very was studious, well-behaved, and solitary.  Very also claimed that he was under the influence of the Holy Spirit and composed verse while in this state. During this period the momentum of the development of Very's personal philosophy of religion continued to build. Either he is consumed, or the fire must inevitably fade. That same year he discovered Emerson's Nature. Transcendentalism is a philosophical movement that developed in the late 1820s and 1830s in the eastern United States. 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: Poems were written in Renaissance mainly in English language.  After returning to Salem, he visited Elizabeth Peabody on September 16, 1838, apparently having given up his rule "not to speak or look at women".  When the younger Jones Very was ten, his father, by then a shipmaster, took him on a sailing voyage to Russia. .  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". He wanted to become closer to his deceased father by means of channeling the will of The Father. 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. One of these, the Reverend Upham, was somewhat less than convinced, and had Very forcibly committed to McLean Hospital in nearby Charlestown. Jones Very Selected Poetry. The lyric "Don't stop believin'" shows standing up for your rights and  Emerson suggested that Very's temporary mental instability was worth the message he had delivered. His mother, Lydia Very, was known for being an aggressive freethinker who made her atheistic beliefs known to all. 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 had become interested in the works of Lord Byron, William Wordsworth, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe and Friedrich Schiller. Jones Very (1813-1880). Of prime importance, however, was the spiritual development that was beginning to take place.  The first signs of a breakdown came shortly after meeting Emerson, as Very was completing an essay on William Shakespeare. 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. With the light of grace shining through him so clearly, Very could not remain in his position at Harvard for long. 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. Very found bits of Nature appealing, but only those that conformed with his nearly developed weltanschauung. Her passion could not withstand her son's. as religiously fervent as Jones Very became affiliated with the Transcendentalist Movement. After working at an auction house, Very became a paid assistant to the principal of a private school in Salem as a teenager. Very pleaded with both Emerson and his wife Lidian, with whom he formed a rather close relationship. His father died on the return trip, apparently due to a lung disease he contracted while in Nova Scotia. Very had, during his confinement, communicated with Emerson the desire to publish a volume of his poetry, which Emerson had agreed to edit. These early works, though they did display a lyrical potential, were not particularly effective. His shadowy aspect at times gave him a ghostly air. He was 20 years of age when he entered as a sophomore, 3 years older than most of his classmates. He did not fathom the ways of God; he did not allow God to fully express himself through him. Jones Very poet from United States was born on August 28, 1813, had 66 years and died on May 8, 1880. He seems worthy to be well known. Born in Salem, Massachusetts to two unwed first cousins, Jones Very became associated with Harvard University, first as an undergraduate, then as a student in the Harvard Divinity School and as a tutor of Greek. A few weeks ago he visited me....He is a remarkable man. " Very said he was also tormented by strong sexual desires which he believed were only held in check by the will of God. 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. 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.  Emerson signed Very's personal copy of Nature with the words: "Har[mony] of Man with Nature Must Be Reconciled With God". 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 Very did not want his poems changed, for he regarded them to be not his work, but rather the work of the spirit. There was no self left, therefore all was Divine, and the figure of Christ had returned to earth in the form of a man.  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. Writers similar to or like Jones Very. ", 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. His talents are of a high order....Is he insane? Yet he was not the all in all. Miss Elizabeth Peabody attended one of Very's lectures and was fascinated.  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. , He was released on October 17, 1838, though he refused to renounce his beliefs. It was all for naught. 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.  At the meeting, held at the home of Caleb Stetson in Medford, Massachusetts, Very was actively engaged in the discussion, building his reputation as a mystic within that circle. Jones Very (1813–1880) sister projects: Wikipedia article, Commons category, quotes, Wikidata item. Don't Stop Believin' By: Journey "Don't stop believin' Hold on to that feelin'" This song is full of transcendentalist themes. Certain disagreements as to the nature of this volume led Very to reenter the world in June 1839 in order to discuss these arrangements with Emerson. He was released after a month when the hospital realized that a) he was harmless and b) they could do nothing for him.  Emerson made up for the meager $10 payment by inviting Very to his home for dinner. His essays, primarily his two Bowdoin Prize lectures, strained against the shackles of religious and literary orthodoxy. 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.” Subsequently, William Irving Bartlett, in 1942, outlined the basic biographical facts of Very's life in Jones Very, Emerson’s “Brave Saint.” A complete scholarly edition of Very's poetic works belatedly appeared, over a century after the poet's death, in 1993.. 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. Odell Shepard).  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".. 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. , After this, Very told her she would soon feel different, explaining, "I am the Second Coming". The more radical poems were expunged, grammar and wording were normalized; the revolutionary nature of the work was softened for the public taste. 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. .  She mocked the "sing song" style of the poems and questioned his religious mission. His class was not as formal as those of the more established professors, and he was not afraid to leave Greek behind and deliver soliloquies aimed at the moral improvement of his young listeners.  Though Very never completed his divinity degree, he held temporary pastorates in Maine, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island. 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. Jones Very (August 28, 1813 - May 8, 1880) was an American poet, essayist, clergyman, and mystic associated with the American Transcendentalist movement. Yourself a newborn bard of the Holy Ghost, -- cast behind you all conformity, and acquaint men at first hand with Deity . Emerson did not believe Very's claim and, noting the poor writing, he asked, "cannot the spirit parse & spell? It was Reverend Charles Wentworth Upham who finally had him committed. He ventured, withal, to warn me of falling into idolatries, while he brought a sonnet or two (since printed) for my benefit. Though Hawthorne treated him kindly, he was not impressed by Very.  He was chosen to speak at his commencement; his address was titled "Individuality". Barlett, William Irving. 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. American essayist, poet, and mystic associated with the American Transcendentalism movement Jones Very . Shakespeare was in a sense perfect; his work defined what is man. Yet there was more. His whole bearing made an impression as if himself were detached from his thought and his body were another's. 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. Lydia Very cursed her hard lot in life with an extreme and vehement passion. It was born from a debate between “New Light” theologians, who believed that religion should focus on an emotional experience, and “Old Light” opponents, who valued reason in their religious approach.These “Old Lights” became known first as “liberal Christians” and then as Unitarians, and were defined by the belief that there wa…  He helped Very publish a small volume, Essays and Poems in 1839. His influence at Cambridge on the best young men was very fine. At first, all men agreed he was mad.  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.  During his college years, he was shy, studious, and ambitious of literary fame. 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. This can be viewed as an active rebellion against his mother's tenacious defense of atheism. I refer to Emily Dickinson and Herman Melville. I was, therefore, fascinated to find an excellent article on transcendentalist poet Jones Very online.  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". Jones Very: Emerson’s “Brave Saint.” Durham, N.C.: Duke University Press, 1942. He was also finding his poetic voice, aided by his shift from heroic couplets to the far more appropriate sonnet form. This, however, was only the first stage. She loved her children with a smothering love even as she despised her neighbors and their religion, often to the point of near-hysteria. Usually, Transcendental poetry made use of some kind of meter. To help control himself, he avoided speaking with or even looking at women—he called it his "sacrifice of Beauty".. Jones Very was an American essayist, poet, clergymen, and mystic associated with the American Transcendentalism movement. Living, not thinking, he regards as the worship meet for the soul. This essay was the explication of the ways of Very to men. His voice had a certain hollowness, as if echoing mine.  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. Very, in despair of attracting apostles, retired from the world six months after his epiphany. " 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. He professed to be taught by the Spirit and to write under its inspiration. Emerson would subsequently refer to Very as his "brave saint." " 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.  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. The Poets of Transcendentalism: An Anthology That day was September the thirteenth. Indeed, I know not where you would... find any thing in this country to compare with these Sonnets. He was known as a scholar of William Shakespeare and many of his poems were Shakespearean sonnets. These two consciousnesses, as I may call them, continued with me". In his essay "Friendship", Emerson referred to Very: I knew a man who under a certain religious frenzy cast off this drapery, and spoke to the conscience of every person he encountered, and that with great insight and beauty. Lawrence Buell, “Transcendental Egoism in Very and Whitman,” Literary Transcendentalism: Style and Vision in the American Renaissance (Cornell UP, 1973), 312–330. While walking by his side, I remember, he seemed spectral, — and somehow using my feet instead of his own, keeping as near me as he could, and jostling me frequently.
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