Edward Thomas (poet) - Wikipedia
The Life and Work of the Poet Edward Thomas, with Matthew Hollis, biographer of the by the exhausting burden of raising his family on freelance literary work. We learned about Thomas's marriage to Helen, a relationship. Edward Thomas probably wrote more words in his lifetime than any of the other Thomas's friendship with Frost makes his relationship with the other Dymock Poets and he is going to bring his whole family to lodge near us through August. In December of Edward Thomas wrote this: 'When I penetrate backward About his own family he wrote more tortuously; as in the following poem, one . to imagine that the relations between poet and hack are to be balanced around.
He succeeded Lionel Johnson as a regular reviewer for the Daily Chronicle, reviewing contemporary poetry, reprints, criticism, and country books, but was earning less than 2 pounds a week, forcing him to sacrifice creative writing for more necessary work. The Thomases moved five times in a ten year span, during which their two daughters were born, Myfanwy inand Bronwen in During this time, Thomas published a number of important critical and biographical studies, including Richard JefferiesMaurice MaeterlinckAlgernon Charles Swinburneand Walter Pater Unsatisfied by work which he felt repressed his creativity, and under the constant stress of financial strains, Thomas endured poor health and recurrent physical and psychological breakdowns.
His unhappiness was a great strain on his marriage, as were a few platonic friendships with women, such as the writer, Eleanor Farjeon. However, Thomas's well-being improved significantly following the family's move to Steep Village inwhere he began writing more creative and often autobiographical work. Frost was just at the start of his career, and the two men developed a strong friendship, taking long walks in the countryside together and gathering with a lively community of local writers in the evenings.
- Edward Thomas (poet)
- Edward Thomas, Robert Frost and the road to war
Later, Frost wrote of their time together: He wrote his first real poem inthe blank-verse dialogue "Up in the Wind," which was published, along with much of his later work, under the pseudonym Edward Eastaway. War seemed such an unlikely outcome for him. He was an anti-nationalist, who despised the jingoism and racism that the press was stoking; he refused to hate Germans or grow "hot" with patriotic love for Englishmen, and once said that his real countrymen were the birds.
But this friendship — the most important of either man's life — would falter at a key moment, and Thomas would go to war. Thomas was 36 that summer ofFrost was 40; neither man had yet made his name as a poet.
Thomas had published two dozen prose books and written almost 2, reviews, but he had still to write his first poem. He worked exhaustedly, hurriedly, "burning my candle at 3 ends", he told Frost, to meet the deadlines of London's literary editors; he felt convinced that he amounted to little more than a hack.
He was crippled by a depression that had afflicted him since university. His moods had become so desperate that on the day he was introduced to Frost, he carried in his pocket a purchase that he ominously referred to as his "Saviour": At such periods of despair Thomas would lash out at his family, humiliating his wife, Helen, and provoking his three children to tears."Adlestrop" By Edward Thomas Poem animation
He despised himself for the pain he inflicted on them and would leave home, sometimes for months on end, to spare them further agony. He sought professional help at a time when little was available, and was fortunate to come under the supervision of a pioneering young doctor, a future pupil of Carl Jung's, who attempted to treat him using a talking cure. The clinical sessions had been progressing for a year when Thomas abruptly turned his back on them.
Yet he continued to look to others to help wrench him from his despondency, believing that a rescuer would one day emerge. Frost had moved his family to England in in a bid to relaunch a stalled literary career. Then in his late 30s and a father of four, he had managed to publish only a handful of poems in America's literary magazines. He had not been sure whether to relocate his family to London or to Vancouver, so while his wife did the ironing, he had taken a nickel from his pocket and flipped it.
It was heads, which meant London, and two weeks later the entire family was steaming across the Atlantic. He found a publisher in London for his poems soon enough partly subsidised by himselfthough few critics gave his work a second look.
But Edward Thomas did.
The Life and Work of the Poet Edward Thomas – a review by Frances Liardet
Where other reviewers mistook Frost's verse as simplistic, Thomas was moved to announce his volume North of Boston as "one of the most revolutionary books of modern times".
Thomas was a fearless and influential critic, described by the Times as "the man with the keys to the Paradise of English Poetry". He had been quick to identify the brilliance of a young American in London called Ezra Poundand instrumental in shaping the early reception of Walter de la Mare, WH Davies and many others besides; and he was quite undaunted in taking to task the literary giants of the day if they fell below the mark, be they Thomas HardyRudyard Kipling or WB Yeats.
When Thomas praised Frost, therefore, people began to take note.
Edward Thomas - Poet | Academy of American Poets
North of Boston was a revolutionary work all right. In a mere 18 poems, it demonstrated the qualities that Frost and Thomas had — quite independently — come to believe were essential to the making of good verse. For both men, the engine of poetry was not rhyme or even form but rhythm, and the organ by which it communicated was the listening ear as opposed to the reading eye.
For Thomas and Frost that entailed a fidelity to the phrase rather than to the metrical foot, to the rhythms of speech rather than those of poetic conventions, to what Frost liked to call "cadence".
If you have ever listened to voices through a closed door, Frost reasoned, you will have noticed how it can be possible to understand the general meaning of a conversation even when the specific words are muffled. This is because the tones and sentences with which we speak are coded with sonic meaning, a "sound of sense".
It is through this sense, unlocked by the rhythms of the speaking voice, that poetry communicates most profoundly: Neither Frost nor Thomas claimed to be the first to think about poetry this way, but their views certainly set them apart from their contemporaries, who were in furious competition in the charged atmosphere of the years before the war.
Strikers, unionists, suffragettes, Irish republicans and the unemployed were just some of the rebellious groups that England strove to tame inand might very well have failed to suppress had war not broken out. The young poets emerging at the same time were, in their own way, also in revolt against the decrepitude of Victorian Britain.
The centre of their activities was the newly opened Poetry Bookshop in Bloomsbury, from where two rival anthologies were produced: It took no time at all for these parties to quarrel: Thomas and Frost ploughed their own furrow. Whenever Thomas visited Frost inthey would walk out together on the fields of Gloucestershire; wherever they walked, they moved in an instinctive sympathy. Frost called these their "talks—walking": Sometimes there was no talk and a silence gathered about them; but often at a gate or stile it started up again or was prompted by the meeting of a stranger in the lanes — a word or two and they were off again.
They went without a map, setting their course by the sun or by the distant arc of May Hill crowning the view to the south; at dusk, the towering elms and Lombardy poplars or the light of a part-glimpsed cottage saw them home. It is important to understand that this did not mean the kind of hypnotic music of a Swinburne lyric: From A Forsaken Garden Frost was after something altogether different.
No surprise for the writer, no surprise for the reader. It was a thrilling and courageous approach to poetry. Thomas was already convinced of most of this even before meeting Frost and before the countless hours they spent together debating the matter page Gibson was an example of the noble failure that Thomas perceived in his own prose and would seek to rectify when given his chance in verse. Those familiar with this blog will readily recognise a theme close to my heart here.
Thomas is having none of that when, as now, he is approaching his epiphany. He has been forced for too long already to be an unwilling dealer in prose, at great cost to his sanity and his family. He has been very close to suicide at least once. The force of economic necessity had played a powerful part in preventing his realising that he was really a gifted poet.
He was soon to express in action his sense of what poetry could do to make his priceless but till then ineffable experience of the world more fully accessible in words.