R S THOMAS
Ronald Stuart Thomas (29 March 1913 – 25 September 2000) was a Welsh poet and Anglican clergyman, noted for his nationalism, spirituality and deep dislike of the anglicisation of Wales. In 1955, John Betjeman, in his introduction to the first collection of Thomas’s poetry to be produced by a major publisher, Song at the Year’s Turning, predicted that Thomas would be remembered long after Betjeman himself was forgotten. Professor M. Wynn Thomas said: “He was the Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn of Wales because he was such a troubler of the Welsh conscience. He was one of the major English language and European poets of the 20th century.”
He retired from the church in 1978, and became more active in political and peace campaigns, though he never aligned himself too closely with any political party. He lived his last years in Gwynedd and Anglesey, and recorded 145 of his favourite poems for Sain two years before his death.
In 1996, he was nominated for the Nobel Prize for Literature (the winner that year was Seamus Heaney). After his death at age 87, an event celebrating his life and poetry was held in Westminster Abbey with readings from Heaney, Andrew Motion, Gillian Clarke and John Burnside. R S Thomas’s ashes are buried close to the door of St. John’s Church, Porthmadog, Gwynedd.
- WHAT THEN?
- THE HAND
- IN A COUNTRY CHURCH
- TOO LATE
- NOT DONE YET