R. S. Thomas, I imagine, would not necessarily have had much time for me. I don’t really know why I think that (and I’m probably committing a gross calumny), but there’s a severity and pointedness to his writing which suggests the lack of gladness in suffering fools! And yet… so many of his poems are utterly compelling.

He was an ordained minister in the Church of Wales but much of his writing is bleak and harsh (a bit like the wintry ruggedness of the welsh landscape). It is often in the land and natural world that he sees light, as in the second of the poems I’m reading today. So, in a way, he was a Welsh Seamus Heaney or Wendell Berry.

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