Collected Poems 1945-1990
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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May 16, 2013 Peter rated it 5 of 5 stars · review of another edition
Recommends it for: All who love the old country
"This is Premiere 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.
A national treasure; nothing less.
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
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.
Apr 28, 2008 Trilby rated it 5 of 5 stars · 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.