Jones Very

(28 August 1813 – 8 May 1880 / Salem, Massachusetts)

Jones Very
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Jones Very was an American essayist, poet, clergymen, and mystic associated with the American Transcendentalism movement. He was known as a scholar of William Shakespeare and many of his poems were Shakespearean sonnets. He was well-known and respected amongst the Transcendentalists, though he had a mental breakdown early in his career.

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. 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. ... more »

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Best Poem of Jones Very

Enoch

I looked to find a man who walked with God,
Like the translated patriarch of old;--
Though gladdened millions on His footstool trod,
Yet none with him did such sweet converse hold;
I heard the wind in low complaint go by
That none his melodies like him could hear;
Day unto day spoke wisdom from on high,
Yet none like David turned a willing ear;
God walked alone unhonored through the earth;
For Him no heart-built temple open stood,
The soul forgetful of her nobler birth
Had hewn him lofty shrines of stone and wood,
And left unfinished and in ruins...

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