The Annotated Collected Poems
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This collection is a revised edition of Edward Thomas's acclaimed poetry collection, originally published by Edna Longley in 1973. Looking beyond the titles of ""War"" or ""Nature"" poet that have been given Thomas, Longley's work advances his reputation as a major modern poet. This new edition includes all his poems and draws on freshly available archive material. The extensive Notes contain substantial quotations from Thomas's prose, letters and notebooks, as well as a new commentary on the poems.
the first white violet of the year before he does. Every spring it was a race between them’ (EF, 22). 9. if she finds a blossom on furze: a generously easy condition to fulfil since furze (gorse, whin) flowers all year round. Cf. ‘gorse that has no time not to be gay’ (October, l.17). These phrases ‘have their origins in the country saying, “When gorse is out of flower then kissing’s out of fashion”’ (MT, 289). Ms : M2, B. Published text : P. Differences from CP 1978: title: If I should
turn: ‘there was a pretty show of horse ornaments of brass among the saddlery. I almost counted these ornaments, crescents, stars, and bosses, as flowers of Spring, so clearly did I recall their May-day flashing in former years’ (IPS, 230). In the placing of ‘turn’, as later in l.6, Thomas exploits a formal corollary to the symbolism whereby sword is taking over from ploughshare. ‘Verse’, as a line of poetry, derives from the ploughman’s ‘turn’ (versus): an origin that enters the poem’s
Letters to Edward Garnett (Edinburgh: The Tregara Press, 1981) LGB: (Ed.) R. George Thomas, Letters from Edward Thomas to Gordon Bottomley (London: Oxford University Press, 1968) LJB: (Ed.) Anthony Berridge, The Letters of Edward Thomas to Jesse Berridge (London: Enitharmon Press, 1983) LTH: (Ed.) R. George Thomas, Edward Thomas: Letters to Helen (Manchester: Carcanet Press, 2000) LWD: Letters from Edward Thomas to Walter de la Mare, Bodleian Library, MS. Eng. lett. c. 376 MT: Myfanwy
‘singing of Ireland … with an intimate reality often missing from English patriotic poetry, where Britannia is a frigid personification’.45 Hence his creation of ‘Lob’ and refusal to aim his wartime anthology This England at ‘what a committee from Great Britain and Ireland might call complete’. But in representing “England” with an inwardness partly learned from Irish, Welsh and American sources, in devolving it to Hampshire or Wiltshire, in breaking up “Britain”, Thomas does not fix new
he has already placed there. In ‘Lazy Jack’ Jack takes a series of jobs to support his widowed mother but always loses or spoils, through his folly, the payments-in-kind he receives. Having dragged a piece of mutton home on a string, he promises to carry the next day’s wages on his shoulders. The wages prove to be a donkey, and the sight of Jack with the donkey makes the deaf and dumb daughter of a rich man laugh for the first time in her life. Her father has promised that the man who achieves