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Collected Later Poems: 1988-2000 Paperback – 25 Mar 2004

4.6 out of 5 stars 5 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Bloodaxe Books Ltd; 1st ed. edition (25 Mar. 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1852246480
  • ISBN-13: 978-1852246488
  • Product Dimensions: 21.5 x 14.2 x 2.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 38,185 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

'Like Yeats, Thomas has produced his most powerful work in his old age...reminds me of Beethoven's last quartets in its fearless exploration of the mysteries of life and death...He is the first great poet since the Metaphysicals of the 17th century to draw his images from the science of his day.' --Denis Healey

'Reading R.S. Thomas's poems has become like reading the prophet Jeremiah...we find the same tenacity of theme and purpose; the ability to look without blinking into the misuse of the raw material of humanity.' --David Scott

'He was an Anglican parish clergyman, but he was also a man of the earth who believed God to be Nature itself. This is one of the oldest Welsh poetic traditions.' --Jan Morris --.

'Reading R.S. Thomas's poems has become like reading the prophet Jeremiah...we find the same tenacity of theme and purpose; the ability to look without blinking into the misuse of the raw material of humanity.' --David Scott

'He was an Anglican parish clergyman, but he was also a man of the earth who believed God to be Nature itself. This is one of the oldest Welsh poetic traditions.' --Jan Morris

About the Author

R.S. Thomas (1913-2000) was one of the major poets of our time, as well as one of the finest religious poets in the English language and Wales's greatest poet. He published over 50 books of poetry and prose. Most of his poems from his first 50 years of writing are in Collected Poems 1945-1990 (Phoenix Press), while the poems from his last five collections are included in Collected Later Poems (2004) from Bloodaxe. His Penguin Selected Poems is a curious selection drawing on both his Collecteds. His Uncollected Poems, edited by Tony Brown and Jason Walford Davies (Bloodaxe Books, 2013), selects previously published but uncollected poems included in none of his other published books.

Born in Cardiff, the son of a sea captain, he moved with his family in 1918 to Holyhead on Anglesey. He was awarded a bursary in 1932 to study at the University College of North Wales, Bangor, where he read Classics. In 1936, having completed his theological training at St Michael's College, Llandaff, he was ordained as a priest in the Church in Wales. From 1936 to 1940 he was the curate of Chirk, Denbighshire, where he met his future wife, Mildred (Elsi) Eldridge, an English artist. He subsequently became curate at Tallarn Green, Flintshire. They married in 1940 and remained together until her death in 1991. He married his second wife Betty in 1996.

From 1942 to 1954 Thomas was rector at Manafon, in rural Montgomeryshire. It was during his time at Manafon that he first began to study Welsh and that he published his first three volumes of poetry. He learnt the Welsh language at the age of 30, too late in life, he said, to be able to write poetry in it, although he did write and publish memoirs in Welsh. In his later years he worked in predominantly Welsh-speaking communities at Eglwys-fach and Aberdaron. He retired from the Church in 1978, and afterwards lived on Anglesey.

He won several awards, including the Queen's Gold Medal for Poetry in 1964. In 1996 he won the Lannan Lifetime Achievement Award for Poetry and the Horst Bienek Prize for Poetry. He was also nominated for the 1996 Nobel Prize in Literature (awarded to Seamus Heaney).


Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
The Collected Later Poems of R.S. Thomas -- Well, you've got to have it. How could you live without more of his crystal perceptions, grumpy mutterings and luminous moments that stop the heart? I don't regret buying it but I wish Bloodaxe could have been more generous with the design. Compared to the beautiful earlier Collected Poems published by Dent, this is 12% smaller and feels rather mean. The typeface is a couple of points less and requires a bit of a squint. For some strange reason the text is placed close to the left-hand edge and looks unbalanced on the page. The Arts Council are credited with financial assistance; perhaps they didn't give quite enough. I only carp to protect the unwary from disappointing surprises. Don't let me put you off. The poems rise above such quibbles.
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If you liked RS Thomas' other collected works then you will love this, his work has developed and matured and his poetry is wonderfully, lyrically descriptive. He is brutally honest about himself and the world that he lives in and observes.
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MUCH HISTORY HERE GLAD TO FIND IT AGAIN THANKYOU
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This is a wonderful collection of poems by R S Thomas. I thoroughly enjoyed it and would recommend it to others
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I chose this rating because all the purchases are exactly to my requirements. I did have to send Tchaikovsky syms. 4,5,6.back as they were the wrong set but had no trouble in exchanging for the set I wanted. Lionel Dossett.
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