I lie in the lean hours awake listening to the swell born somewhere in the Atlantic rising and falling, rising and falling wave on wave on the long shore by the village that is without light and companionless. And the thought comes of that other being who is awake, too, letting our prayers break on him, not like this for a few hours, but for days, years, for eternity .
"The Other" in The Echoes Return Slow (1988)
The nearest we approach God …is as creative beings. The poet , by echoing the primary imagination , recreates. Through his work he forces those who read him to do the same, thus bringing them... nearer to the actual being of God as displayed in action .R. S. Thomas
Imaginative truth is the most immediate way of presenting ultimate reality to a human being ... ultimate reality is what we call God .R. S. Thomas
On seeing his shadow fall on such ancient rocks, he had to question himself in a different context and ask the same old question as before, "Who am I?", and the answer now came more emphatically than ever before, "No-one." But a no-one with a crown of light about his head. He would remember a verse from Pindar : "Man is a dream about a shadow. But when some splendour falls upon him from God , a glory comes to him and his life is sweet."R. S. Thomas
I'm obviously not orthodox, I don't know how many real poets have ever been orthodox.R. S. Thomas
"Natural, hell! What was it Chaucer Said once about the long toil that goes like blood to the poems making? Leave it to nature and the verse sprawls, Limp as bindweed, if it break at all Life's iron crust Man, you must sweat And rhyme your guts taut, if you'd build Your verse a ladder."R. S. Thomas
I have known exile and a wild passion Of longing changing to a cold ache. King, beggar and fool , I have been all by turns, Knowing the body’s sweetness, the mind ’s treason ; Taliesin still, I show you a new world , risen, Stubborn with beauty , out of the heart ’s need .R. S. Thomas
We live in our own world , A world that is too small For you to stoop and enter Even on hands and knees, The adult subterfuge.R. S. Thomas
I am like a tree , From my top boughs I can see The footprints that led up to me .R. S. Thomas
The deep spaces between stars , Fathomless as the cold shadow His mind cast.R. S. Thomas
Art is recuperation from time. I lie back convalescing upon the prospect of a harvest already at hand.R. S. Thomas
In the silence that is his chosen medium of communication and telling others about it in words. Is there no way not to be the sport of reason ?R. S. Thomas
I had looked forward to old age as a time of quietness, a time to draw my horizons about me, to watch memories ripening in the sunlight of a walled garden. But there is the void over my head and the distance within that the tireless signals come from. And astronaut on impossible journeys to the far side of the self I return with messages I cannot decipher.R. S. Thomas
I turn now not to the Bible but to Wallace StevensR. S. Thomas
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