Monday 29 March 2010

Birthday Boy

I can't let the birthday of R.S. Thomas (his 97th - the party will surely be the hottest ticket in the afterworld) go by unmarked. Here he is at his least Welsh, his least craggy and forbidding, but still starkly wise and true...


Dear parents,
I forgive you my life,
Begotten in a drab town,
The intention was good;
Passing the street now,
I see still the remains of sunlight.

It was not the bone buckled;
You gave me enough food
To renew myself.
It was the mind's weight
Kept me bent, as I grew tall.

It was not your fault.
What should have gone on,
Arrow aimed from a tried bow
At a tried target, has turned back,
Wounding itself
With questions you had not asked.


  1. Such an insightful, sad, and compassionate poem. He speaks for many...
    And the 97th BirthDay party in the hereafter - what an idea. How grumpily gracious, or not, would dear R.S. be about that! Or does 'Heaven' redeem us all?

  2. That be not the verse.

  3. Nige, your post brought on some thoughts on another misanthropic mystic, Henry Vaughan...

  4. Grim stuff. 'Snap out of it!' I would bellow if a son of mine had written it.

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