The Heart's Necessities: A Life in Poetry

The Heart's Necessities: A Life in Poetry

by Jane Tyson Clement
The Heart's Necessities: A Life in Poetry

The Heart's Necessities: A Life in Poetry

by Jane Tyson Clement


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What are the heart’s necessities?

It’s a question Jane Tyson Clement (1917–2000) asked herself over and over, both in her poetry and in the way she lived. Her observation of the seasons of the soul and of the natural world have made her poems beloved to many readers, most recently singer-songwriter Becca Stevens, who has given Clement’s poetry new life – and a new audience – as lyrics in her songs. This book interweaves Clement’s best poems with the story of her life, and with commentary by Stevens describing how specific poems speak to her own life, passions, and creative process.

Like many great poets, from Emily Dickinson to Gerard Manley Hopkins, Jane Tyson Clement (1917–2000) has found more readers since her death than in her lifetime. A new generation that prizes honesty and authenticity is finding in Clement – a restless, questing soul with a life as compelling as her art – a voice that expresses their own deepest feelings, values, and desires.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780874868456
Publisher: Plough Publishing House, The
Publication date: 04/22/2019
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: eBook
Pages: 160
File size: 28 MB
Note: This product may take a few minutes to download.

About the Author

Poet and short story writer Jane Tyson Clement (1917–2000) lived in Manhattan until she was nineteen, but preferred Bay Head, New Jersey, where the family owned a summer house. Bay Head’s windswept shore drew her back year after year: “There was something eternal about it that was always a rock and an anchor for me.” She graduated from Smith College in 1939, became a teacher, and married Robert Allen Clement, a Quaker attorney and fellow pacifist. Despite her privileged background, Clement was disturbed by the injustices she saw around her and yearned to do something constructive with her life, to move beyond the “frivolous, self-centered side of my nature…and to do something – anything – about the unfair treatment of workers, the hoarding of wealth in the hands of a few.” Eventually this search led Jane and her family to join the Bruderhof, a community movement dedicated to practicing Jesus’ teachings of nonviolence, economic equality, and social justice. Here Clement taught school, raised seven children, and, through her poetry and fiction, continued her search for wholeness and truth.

Evoking comparisons to Edna St. Vincent Millay, Mary Oliver, Jane Kenyon, and Denise Levertov, Jane Tyson Clement’s poetry is direct and understated, drawing on familiar images from nature and daily life. Her story is told through the lens of her poetry in The Heart’s Necessities: A Life in Poetry. Many additional poems are collected in No One Can Stem the Tide, and her short stories appear in The Secret Flower and Other Stories.
Veery Huleatt is an editor at Plough Quarterly and Plough Publishing House.

Table of Contents

Editor's Note vii

Prelude Becca Stevens ix

01 Shelter your Heart with Patience 01

Poems 8

02 One Who Has Loved Is Never Quite Alone 50

Poems 60

3 Scope for Some Experiment 92

Poems 100

04 The Heart Has Followed the Curve of the World 128

Poems 136

05 No One Can Stem the Tide 148

Poems 154

Index 184

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