Lyric Tragedy pp 131-143 | Cite as

Edward Thomas: the Unreasonable Grief

  • R. P. Draper


Edward Thomas is strongly reminiscent of both Keats and Hardy. Keats is recalled in ‘Blenheim Oranges’ by the ambivalent image of apples that ‘Fall grubby from the trees’, and in ‘The sun used to shine’ by the mixture of ripeness and rottenness in ‘the yellow flavorous coat / Of an apple wasps had undermined’.1 Less immediately in terms of style, but with a similar sense of the organic process that makes death and life seem inherent in all seasons, Thomas also suggests Keats when in ‘The Thrush’, for example, the bird’s song heard in November prompts reflections on its associations with April. The bird loses itself in the unconscious spontaneity of the present season, but the poet must recognise, and accept, the complexity of change:

But I know the months all, And their sweet names, April, May and June and October, As you call and call

I must remember

What died into April

And consider what will be born

Of a fair November;

And April I love for what

It was born of, and November

For what it will die in,

What they are and what they are not.


Opening Line Blow Down Green Road Lost Paradise Shadow Side 
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  1. 1.
    All quotations from Thomas’ poems are from The Collected Poems of Edward Thomas, ed. R. George Thomas (Oxford, 1978).Google Scholar

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© R. P. Draper 1985

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  • R. P. Draper

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