Tuesday, March 29, 2022

Mar. 29: R.S. Thomas, Welsh poet and priest


R.S. Thomas (1913-2000) was a Welsh poet and Anglican priest. A fierce Welsh nationalist (who came to his "native tongue" only at the age of 30), he wrote poetry that interweaves his sometimes-progressive Christian faith with cultural issues and a "true Wales of my imagination," a Welsh-speaking aboriginal community that had remained in touch with the natural world. The Anglicization of Wales (including those Welsh only to happy to sell their patrimony for English money), and modernization in general, was represented in his poetry by "the machine," and by the specific machines that he preached against from the pulpit: refrigerators, washing machines, televisions, and other modern devices. A Welsh professor said of him that he was "a troubler of the Welsh conscience." He seems to have written over 40 books; his first major poetry collection, Song at the Year's Turning, is a good start.


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