Tuesday 3 December 2013

R.S. Thomas again

Over on The Dabbler, I look at R.S. Thomas as a great comic figure. But, lest we forget, he was also a great poet (or something very like it), and a tender, true and complicated heart beat beneath that  rebarbative surface. It speaks here in this beautiful  late poem that attests to the enduring love in his strange and difficult relationship with his wife Mildred (Elsi), to whom he was married for 51 years. It's a delicate and subtle piece of work, its artistry concealed by its deftly managed, seemingly natural flow. And it was written by the glowering man in the Dabbler photograph...


My luminary,
my morning and evening
star. My light at noon
when there is no sun
and the sky lowers. My balance
of joy in a world
that has gone off joy's
standard. Yours the face
that young I recognised
as though I had known you
of old. Come, my eyes
said, out into the morning
of a world whose dew
waits for your footprint.
Before a green altar
with the thrush for priest
I took those gossamer
vows that neither the Church
could stale nor the Machine
tarnish, that with the years
have grown hard as flint,
lighter than platinum
on our ringless fingers. 

1 comment:

  1. More light on R.S. Thomas's comedy and more in Patrick Kurp's fine review of the new Uncollected Poems -