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Collected Poems : R S Thomas

Author(s)
Published
05/10/2000

Publisher writes

Published to mark the poet's 80th birthday, this collection confirms R. S. Thomas as our pre-eminent poet. 'This is the book I've been waiting for' Ted Hughes

Author Information

R. S. Thomas

R. S. Thomas was born in 1913. He won numerous awards for his poetry, including the Queen's Gold Medal for Poetry in 1964. His autobiography, NEB, was published by J. M. Dent in September 1995. He died in 2000.

Judges' and contributors' comments

Mark Oakley: I’m not sure I would have survived ordained life so far without the poems of R. S. Thomas. You can never paraphrase a poem, nor faith in God. Thomas’ God, like an enormous owl that brushes him with his wing in the dark, is not to be played with and leaves you (for hours, days, months) in a silent room to see who you’ve become.

Cally Hammond: I didn’t need to champion R.S. Thomas’ Collected Poems, but I would have done. I know he shouldn’t make it onto ‘the’ top 10 but he is in my personal top 10 for sure.

Philip Welsh: The poems from 1988 to 2000 represent the astonishing final creative outpouring of the poet’s 70s and 80s. Much of the time we don’t seem to be listening to what he is saying to us, but overhearing his constant argument with a fierce God he can neither embrace nor let go of. 

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