« We feel that we are in contact not simply with the man's mind or his fancy, or his eyes, or his book of synonyms but with a man, the writing gives us the sense of the actual bodily presence of a man. » How far does this review from Thomas about another poet actually correspond to what he himself was doing with poetry?
A poet can make the reader feel different ways or different things. Afterall, writing tries to make a reader react a certain way. To do this, they use different vocabulary or find ways to insist on particular words to emphasize them. Edward Thomas, having been a poetry critic for quite some years has seen how they do such things and has known how to make conclusions from it about the quality of writer : a good poet can subtly arouse emotions. From his knowledge ofpoetry acquired before starting himself, he knew how to write pleasant yet meaningful poetry. Thomas once said of another poet that “the writing gives us the sense of the actual bodily presence of man” and we shall discuss whether we can say the same for Thomas himself.
If we look at the themes of poetry that Edward Thomas deals with, we can disagree that this statement can be applied to Thomas'poetry. Thomas loved very much nature, and was much more interested in the countryside and its secrets than in people. It is in all of his poems, whatever the main theme is (if it is not nature) and he is concerned by the industrialisation destroying the abundant English nature he loves so much. The Nature that Thomas describes is often untouched by man or at least free of its presence. For examplein 'Adelstrop', he sees a “bare platform” and enumerates an abundant Nature in which only “haycocks” can suggest mans passage. This absence, rather than felt presence, is also in 'The Unknown Bird' in which he is the only one able to hear the bird and also by the “bodiless sweet” presence of the bird.
Furthermore, when Thomas writes about the war in his poems, there is more a sense of absenceagain, than of a bodily presence. The countryside has been emptied of the workers, and so many of those who went to fight did not come back. Therefore we can speak of an absence of presence that Thomas wants to show.
In his poetry, Thomas often evokes his memories. These memories are lived experiences involving him, that he shares with the reader. Thomas is known for using colloquial languagewhich is appropriate to ordinary or familiar conversation rather than formal speech or writing. This makes the reader feel involved in a way: we can see this in 'Adelstrop'. The poem starts by “yes” making it sound like the answer to a question that the reader could have asked or at least it makes the reader feel involved in the conversation. This beginning to the poem makes the poem animated andconversational. We experience the same sort of involvement with the poem 'As The Team's Head Brass' where the poet has a dialogue with a ploughman. Even though it is written in the past tense, the dialogue makes it feel alive, actual and the reader can feel they are in the presence of the two characters speaking.
In the same way, this informal language brings the impression that Thomas is tellingthis story particularly to the reader as if they were two friends speaking of past experiences. The language is therefore very natural and doesn't sound worked over and over, making it very possible to be used in a conversation. As said before, the conversational type of language brings the poem alive and 'in flesh' if I may say. When sharing an experience, the speaker tries to get hisinterlocutor to feel what he felt and to imagine the place, the people, the overall environment. We can see this in poems such as 'Over the Hills', 'The Unknown Bird' and 'Aspens' where he puts forth his encounter with a certain part of nature. The poem in which you can feel well the poet's presence in 'The New House'. This is because the house is empty and he is the only presence in the building and all...
Lire le document complet
Veuillez vous inscrire pour avoir accès au document.