Most helpful positive review
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Always more to discover in Edward Thomas
on 6 April 2013
I've owned an original edition of In Pursuit of Spring for years but until this Easter had merely skimmed it looking for the passages in which Robert Frost saw Edward Thomas's potential as a poet. Now thanks to Matthew Oates' programme I am reading it and really enjoying it. It's quietly witty, really humourous at times. It's excellent on birds - he can convey the movement, sound and shape of birds like no-one other than Hopkins. His views of villages, farms and churches, inns and roads, bring them to life.
Above all we sense the man himself - reflective, original in his approach and reasonably even-tempered and content, it seems. That was a surprise to me as I had always understood 1913 to be his most unhappy year.
There is a chapter on three poets, one of whom is Hardy. Fascinating to think that at that very time Hardy was writing his best poems, the Emma sequence. I would love to know what Thomas would have said about these poems on the theme of guilt for mis-treating your wife! More important is the chapter on Coleridge at Nether Stowey, a poet and critic he admired so much - (oh dear, another appalling husband, the worst of the lot!)
As Thomas moved further west, away from London, the writing becomes more relaxed, unfussy, closer to the voice of the poems. It's great to observe the development and I'm really sorry that as a student of and writer on Thomas - '[[ASIN:0956424236 A Conscious Englishman] -I haven't read it before.