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Collected Poems 1945-1990

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4.38  ·  Rating Details  ·  152 Ratings  ·  13 Reviews
Published to mark the poet's 80th birthday, this is a collection of poems by R.S. Thomas, written between 1945 and 1990. Thomas won numerous awards for his work, including the Queen's Gold Medal for Poetry in 1964.
Paperback, 548 pages
Published 2001 by Phoenix Press (first published 1993)
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Ryan Williams
R.S. Thomas was nicknamed The Ogre of Wales, often aptly. He was a tangle of contradictions: a rabid Welsh nationalist that supported fire-bombing caravan parks, yet spoke with a cut-glass English accent and only learned Welsh relatively late in life. His habit of preaching to farmers about the evils of central heating in freezing rural chapels didn't go down particularly well either. He was, as my Mother said, a bit twp (Welsh for daft).

The earlier work tends to be the best, especially the Iago
...more
Daniel Seifert
Sep 07, 2015 Daniel Seifert rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What resonates and what I benefit from reading the poetry of R. S. Thomas is his awareness of the hiddenness/strangeness of the holy, the acknowledgement of suffering in his voice similar to the voice of Qoheleth. His life-long examination of the human situation within his small parish and the unconscious, e.g., internal "wound", raw love, the life stripped by a life of arduous labor, reveal important human realities that often are glossed over by sentimentality, weak theology, and the denial of ...more
Peter
Aug 23, 2015 Peter rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: All who love the old country

"This is Premier League Modern Poetry" to slightly misquote a good friend of mine; heavy weight poetry every bit as Welsh as Heaney is Irish or Tony Harrison is English. Poetry that searches beneath the surface of Welsh rural life in much the same way that the Welsh mined their hills, and faithfully carries and recreates the self same character of those hills; deep, rich language at once beautiful, rugged, intimate and affectionate but also at times stark, hard and astringent without embellishme
...more
Helen
Apr 03, 2016 Helen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Perhaps coming across this book of collected poems by R.S. Thomas was not the best introduction on the one hand. Its 21 books spanning from 1946-1992 can feel overwhelming, and at 550 pages it's not something I can or would want to read quickly. But what a voice! I didn't know there was this treasure trove to be discovered, and I'm elated to find there is. Not since reading Alice Oswald's 'Dart' and 'The Thing in the Gap-Stone Stile' have I lingered so greedily on a line. Thomas writes with such ...more
Robert
Dec 01, 2010 Robert rated it it was amazing
Shelves: poetry
R.S. Thomas was a Welsh clergyman posted to a rural parish in Wales and his poetry (particularly early on) reflects this. Poems discuss the landscape, individuals and society he finds himself immersed in and how they relate to each other. He finds the farmers, though illiterate, unable to appreciate the beauty of their surroundings and incapable of a profound relationship with God, admirable simply because of their capability to scratch a life out of their hills and valleys. He also notes the ch ...more
Richard Brand
I have just finished reading this large collection. I read it four poems a day until I finished it. I must say that his works are beyond me. I did not develop an understanding of what he was saying, and none of them "rang my bell." It was discipline of determination. I had started. I would finish, but I can not really say I did not like them as I never really understood any of them.
Lee
Aug 12, 2014 Lee rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
R.S. Thomas' poems deal with faith, doubt, and moving forward in a way that even a hardened atheist can respect and love. He is the flip side of the coin of Wallace Stevens, and I love me some Stevens. Do yourself a favor and seek him out.
Mii
Jul 05, 2014 Mii rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is a great read!
Trilby
Apr 28, 2008 Trilby rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I don't think anyone "finishes" reading a book of poetry, but here are my comments to date: The late Anglican priest R.S. Thomas is one of the best kept secrets among British poets. Although he's been criticized for his brutal metaphors about "Welsh History"(one of his best known works) his poems offer insightful glimpses into life in 20th century Wales. Seamus Heaney lists him as one of his top literary influences.
Anne Reynolds
Nov 29, 2013 Anne Reynolds rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Thomas ponders the meaning of life in these beautiful poems. My Welsh roots tingle as he addresses rural life, God and religion, marriage and key figures of his time. Wonderful, beautiful and poignant.
Sarah
Oct 25, 2007 Sarah rated it it was amazing
Some of the most beautiful poems about faith I know... and a lot about Welsh farming!
Kate
Oct 23, 2007 Kate marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry
This was on Shirley Mullen's recommended reading list under the category of "poetry."
Ярослава
Apr 29, 2016 Ярослава rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry
Один з найулюбленіших поетів.
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Ronald Stuart Thomas (otherwise stylised as R. S. Thomas) was a Welsh poet and Anglican priest who was noted for his nationalism, spirituality and deep dislike of the anglicisation of Wales.

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“Seated at table -
no need for the fracture
of the room's silence; noiselessly
they conversed.”
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