Thomas, Edward. (1878 - 1917).
L i f e
- enlisted in WW I, killed in action
W o r k
- editor of 16 anthologies and other editions, author of 30 prose books on nature, of reviews and critical writing, and of poetry
- form: plain diction, style, and rhythm
- subject: celebration of southern England and its seasons
- intensifies his awareness of the beauty of the natural world by a sense of impending loss and the certainty of death
- acutely observes the suffering occasioned by war, perceives death as the ultimate destroyer of the already violent co-operation of man and nature
- an occasional poem of natural observation
- evokes a disappearing England through which he passes as a traveller
“As the Team’s Head-Brass”:
- develops a sporadic conversation on the war between a ploughman and his team at work x the narrator
- interrupted each time the ploughman returns to his work, and the war, somewhere over a horizon, suggests more drastic breakings
- translates the military command into a journey through a dark wood
- the unnatural silence of the wood reinforces the sense of being lost
"Yes. I remember Adlestrop-- / The name, because one afternoon / Of heat the express-train drew up there / Unwontedly. It was late June."
The opening of "Adlestrop" (1917).
(Photo: World War Pictures).
AuthorPhilip Edward Thomas. (1878 - 1917). British.
WorkPoet. Prose writer. Critic. Editor. Author of "Adlestrop" (1917).
GenresWar poetry. Nature poetry. Non-fiction.
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Coote, Stephen. The Penguin Short History of English Literature. London: Penguin, 1993.
Sampson, George. The Concise Cambridge History of English Literature. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1946.
Sanders, Andrew. The Short Oxford History of English Literature. New York: Clarendon Press, 1994.