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R. S. Thomas (1913 – 2000)


Published as R S Thomas, was a Welsh poet and Anglican Clergyman, noted for his nationalism and spirituality.
R. S. Thomas
The nearest we approach God…is as creative beings. The poet, by echoing the primary imagination, recreates. Through his work he forces those who read him to do the same, thus bringing them... nearer to the actual being of God as displayed in action.
Thomas quotes
I am not notably frivolous, but whenever I read R. S. Thomas’s poetry, or his biography, I cannot help but reflect that, like the majority of mankind, I have spent most of my life chasing false gods.
Thomas
He arose, pacing the floor
Strewn with books, his mind big with the poem
Soon to be born, his nerves tense to endure
The long torture of delayed birth.




Thomas R. S. quotes
Was he balked by silence? He kneeled long,
And saw love in a dark crown
Of thorns blazing, and a winter tree
Golden with fruit of a man's body.
Thomas R. S.
In the silence
that is his chosen medium
of communication and telling
others about it
in words. Is there no way
not to be the sport
of reason?
R. S. Thomas quotes
It is too late to start
For destinations not of the heart.
I must stay here with my hurt.
R. S. Thomas
somewhere within sight
of the tree of poetry
that is eternity wearing
the green leaves of time.
Thomas R. S. quotes
They left no books,
Memorial to their lonely thought
In grey parishes: rather they wrote
On men's hearts and in the minds
Of young children sublime words
Too soon forgotten. God in his time
Or out of time will correct this.
Thomas
We live in our own world,
A world that is too small
For you to stoop and enter
Even on hands and knees,
The adult subterfuge.
Thomas R. S.
Any form of orthodoxy is just not part of a poet's province ... A poet must be able to claim ... freedom to follow the vision of poetry, the imaginative vision of poetry ... And in any case, poetry is religion, religion is poetry. The message of the New Testament is poetry. Christ was a poet, the New Testament is metaphor, the Resurrection is a metaphor; and I feel perfectly within my rights in approaching my whole vocation as priest and preacher as one who is to present poetry; and when I preach poetry I am preaching Christianity, and when one discusses Christianity one is discussing poetry in its imaginative aspects. ... My work as a poet has to deal with the presentation of imaginative truth.
R. S. Thomas
Why, then, are my hands red
with the blood of so many dead?
Is this where I was mislead?




R. S. Thomas quotes
I had looked forward
to old age as a time
of quietness, a time to draw
my horizons about me,
to watch memories ripening
in the sunlight of a walled garden.
But there is the void
over my head and the distance
within that the tireless signals
come from. And astronaut
on impossible journeys
to the far side of the self
I return with messages
I cannot decipher.
R. S. Thomas
You have to imagine
a waiting that is not impatient
because it is timeless.
Thomas quotes
I have nowhere to go.
The swift satellites show
The clock of my whole being is slow.
Thomas R. S.
A slow singer, but loading each phrase
With history’s overtones, love, joy
And grief learned by his dark tribe
In other orchards and passed on
Instinctively as they are now,
But fresh always with new tears.
Thomas R. S. quotes
Is there a place
here for the spirit? Is there time
on this brief platform for anything
other than mind's failure to explain itself?
R. S. Thomas
She is young. Have I the right
Even to name her? Child,
It is not love I offer
Your quick limbs, your eyes;
Only the barren homage
Of an old man whom time
Crucifies.
R. S. Thomas quotes
There was a larger pattern
we worked at: they on a big
loom, I with a small needle.
R. S. Thomas
Blessings, Stevens;
I stand with my back to grammar
At an altar you never aspired
to, celebrating the sacrament
of the imagination whose high-priest
notwithstanding you are.
Thomas R. S.
I have been all men known to history,
Wondering at the world and at time passing;
I have seen evil, and the light blessing
Innocent love under a spring sky.


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