A Mad Poet’s Ghost

On our recent trip to Concord, we took a side trip to Salem, where my friends Jim Dalton and Maggi Smith-Dalton, microtonal composers and early-American-music experts, took me to the grave of Jones Very (1813-1880), the temporarily-mad Emerson poet protégé whose ecstatic sonnets I set to music in my Transcendental Sonnets. (Jim’s an isolated, Johnstonian just-intonationist in the officially 72-tet Boston crowd.) Very’s tomb is in the Old South Cemetery, founded in 1689, and quite visible from a fairly busy street. Just one member in a family grave, like Thoreau and Kierkegaard, but I was thrilled to track down old Jones at last:

I’ve got more about Very here, including some poems.