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Best Famous R S Thomas Poems

Here is a collection of the all-time best famous R S Thomas poems. This is a select list of the best famous R S Thomas poetry. Reading, writing, and enjoying famous R S Thomas poetry (as well as classical and contemporary poems) is a great past time. These top poems are the best examples of R S Thomas poems.

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by R S Thomas |

A Peasant

 Iago Prytherch his name, though, be it allowed,
Just an ordinary man of the bald Welsh hills,
Who pens a few sheep in a gap of cloud.
Docking mangels, chipping the green skin From the yellow bones with a half-witted grin Of satisfaction, or churning the crude earth To a stiff sea of clods that glint in the wind— So are his days spent, his spittled mirth Rarer than the sun that cracks the cheeks Of the gaunt sky perhaps once in a week.
And then at night see him fixed in his chair Motionless, except when he leans to gob in the fire.
There is something frightening in the vacancy of his mind.
His clothes, sour with years of sweat And animal contact, shock the refined, But affected, sense with their stark naturalness.
Yet this is your prototype, who, season by season Against siege of rain and the wind's attrition, Preserves his stock, an impregnable fortress Not to be stormed, even in death's confusion.
Remember him, then, for he, too, is a winner of wars, Enduring like a tree under the curious stars.


by R S Thomas |

The Woman

 So beautiful--God himself quailed 
at her approach: the long body curved 
like the horizon.
Why had he made her so? How would it be, she said, leaning towards him, if instead of quarreling over it, we divided it between us? You can have all the credit for its invention, if you will leave the ordering of it to me.
He looked into her eyes and saw far down the bones of the generations that would navigate by those great stars, but the pull of it was too much.
Yes, he thought, give me their minds' tribute, and what they do with their bodies is not my concern.
He put his hand in his side and drew out the thorn for the letting of the ordained blood and touched her with it.
Go, he said.
They shall come to you for ever with their desire, and you shall bleed for them in return.


by R S Thomas |

Childrens Song

 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.
And though you probe and pry With analytic eye, And eavesdrop all our talk With an amused look, You cannot find the centre Where we dance, where we play, Where life is still asleep Under the closed flower, Under the smooth shell Of eggs in the cupped nest That mock the faded blue Of your remoter heaven.


by R S Thomas |

An Old Man

 Looking upon this tree with its quaint pretension
Of holding the earth, a leveret, in its claws,
Or marking the texture of its living bark,
A grey sea wrinkled by the winds of years,
I understand whence this man's body comes,
In veins and fibres, the bare boughs of bone,
The trellised thicket, where the heart, that robin,
Greets with a song the seasons of the blood.
But where in meadow or mountain shall I match The individual accent of the speech That is the ear's familiar? To what sun attribute The honeyed warmness of his smile? To which of the deciduous brood is german The angel peeping from the latticed eye?


by R S Thomas |

Ninetieth Birthday

 You go up the long track
That will take a car, but is best walked
On slow foot, noting the lichen
That writes history on the page
Of the grey rock.
Trees are about you At first, but yield to the green bracken, The nightjars house: you can hear it spin On warm evenings; it is still now In the noonday heat, only the lesser Voices sound, blue-fly and gnat And the stream's whisper.
As the road climbs, You will pause for breath and the far sea's Signal will flash, till you turn again To the steep track, buttressed with cloud.
And there at the top that old woman, Born almost a century back In that stone farm, awaits your coming; Waits for the news of the lost village She thinks she knows, a place that exists In her memory only.
You bring her greeting And praise for having lasted so long With time's knife shaving the bone.
Yet no bridge joins her own World with yours, all you can do Is lean kindly across the abyss To hear words that were once wise.


by R S Thomas |

A Blackbird Singing

 It seems wrong that out of this bird,
Black, bold, a suggestion of dark 
Places about it, there yet should come
Such rich music, as though the notes'
Ore were changed to a rare metal
At one touch of that bright bill.
You have heard it often, alone at your desk In a green April, your mind drawn Away from its work by sweet disturbance Of the mild evening outside your room.
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.


by R S Thomas |

Poetry For Supper

 'Listen, now, verse should be as natural 
As the small tuber that feeds on muck 
And grows slowly from obtuse soil 
To the white flower of immortal beauty.
' 'Natural, hell! What was it Chaucer Said once about the long toil That goes like blood to the poem's making? Leave it to nature and the verse sprawls, Limp as bindweed, if it break at all Life's iron crust.
Man, you must sweat And rhyme your guts taut, if you'd build Your verse a ladder.
' 'You speak as though No sunlight ever surprised the mind Groping on its cloudy path.
' 'Sunlight's a thing that needs a window Before it enter a dark room.
Windows don't happen.
' So two old poets, Hunched at their beer in the low haze Of an inn parlour, while the talk ran Noisily by them, glib with prose.


by R S Thomas |

Sorry

 Dear parents,
I forgive you my life,
Begotten in a drab town,
The intention was good;
Passing the street now,
I see still the remains of sunlight.
It was not the bone buckled; You gave me enough food To renew myself.
It was the mind's weight Kept me bent, as I grew tall.
It was not your fault.
What should have gone on, Arrow aimed from a tried bow At a tried target, has turned back, Wounding itself With questions you had not asked.


by R S Thomas |

Childrens Song

 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.
And though you probe and pry With analytic eye, And eavesdrop all our talk With an amused look, You cannot find the centre Where we dance, where we play, Where life is still asleep Under the closed flower, Under the smooth shell Of eggs in the cupped nest That mock the faded blue Of your remoter heaven.


by R S Thomas |

The Dance

 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.
Take my hand A moment in the dance, Ignoring its sly pressure, The dry rut of age, And lead me under the boughs Of innocence.
Let me smell My youth again in your hair.