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Selected Poems

4.25  ·  Rating details ·  68 Ratings  ·  4 Reviews
RS Thomas was the greatest religious poet writing in English in the 20th century, but the 270 poems he chose for this definitive selection reveal a wide range of themes and concerns. He was a passionate Welsh patriot, but also an outspoken critic of his countrymen. His poems are an expression of his lifelong argument with himself, of his insistent search for God. In them h ...more
Paperback, 352 pages
Published January 29th 2004 by Penguin Classics (first published 1973)
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James Murphy
Apr 10, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I'd not read Thomas before these Selected Poems. I think him extraordinary. Despite a feeling I had that his poetry leaned more and more toward the religious as he aged, I found reading him is like standing in a strong wind which carries the heavy news from somewhere else, truths you've known but never articulated before. Reading him is to learn again, better, what you already know. Though he was Welsh and the poetry is testament to that sensibility, his work thrives far beyond the stark cliffs ...more
Nathan Huffstutler
Thomas's poetry, along with all the bad news lately, prompted me to write this essay.
Steve Robinson
Feb 26, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An excellent introduction to the works of a remarkable poet.
Katrinka
May 18, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Much of the strength of these poems lies in their powerful, sometimes unexpected, endings. Thomas is unsparing in his observations-- which are never without a harsh sort of love.
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159504
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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“I have seen the sun break through
to illuminate a small field
for a while, and gone my way
and forgotten it. But that was the pearl
of great price, the one field that had
treasure in it. I realize now
that I must give all that I have
to possess it. Life is not hurrying
on to a receeding future, nor hankering after
an imagined past. It is the turning
aside like Moses to the miracle
of the lit bush, to a brightness
that seemed as transitory as your youth
once, but is the eternity that awaits you.”
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