Hollis’s Edward Thomas (3/3): going to war

Everybody Means Something

Without nostalgia who could love England?
Without a sentimental attachment to tolerance
Who could delight in this cramped corner country . . . ?

(From  ‘England’ – page 44 in Poems 1955-2005 by Anne Stevenson)

Edward Thomas (1878 - 1917), English poet and ... Edward Thomas

My recently reactivated interest in the disturbingly wide impact of trauma in various forms on our lives leads me to republish this sequence on Edward Thomas. I feel I underestimated the influence of his childhood on his struggles as an adult.  Most of the texts I explored for this review drew a veil over any of the details of his early life. Only Andrew Motion’s book about his poetry gave any real hint. His depression, I speculated briefly in the first post, may have had its roots in his problematic relationship with his father: to describe this relationship Andrew Motion uses the word ‘tyrannise’ in his account of Thomas’s poetry. A brief trawl of the web has…

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