Sunday, 9 April 2017

One hundred years ago today one of England's finest poets died at the Battle of Arras. Edward Thomas didn't write about the Great War per se, but about the countryside he was fighting for. One hundred and nineteen poems between 1914 and 1917, and those who love poetry will continually go back to them. No computer, no smartphone, no 'tablet', no Facebook and the only twitter the birds in the trees outside as he simply put a pen to paper:

By the ford at the town's edge
Horse and carter rest:
The carter smokes on the bridge
Watching the water press in swathes about his horse's chest.

From the inn one watches, too,
In the room for visitors
That has no fire, but a view
And many cases of stuffed fish, vermin, and kingfishers.


Sue Imgrund said...

He could evoke a whole world with a few words. 'Adlestrop' is probably the best-known of his works for that very reason.

Peter Ashley said...

Indeed he could Sue. I spent much of yesterday sitting in the garden reading his poems, glancing up now and then to watch jackdaws hopping around the chimney pots.

Dickie Straker said...

Lovely Peter - Thomas a true giant of place - I am re-reading The South Country again in his honour, perfect at this time of year - we used to live by Adlestrop and I fished just where the station was originally. TTFN Dickie

Peter Ashley said...

Thanks Dickie. I too am about to read one of his books, in my case In Pursuit of Spring.

bazza said...

I, too, love the poem Adlestrop. When I first came across the poem in my teens I was convinced that the name was Portslade spelled backward. It almost is, I didn't look properly!
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