At 192 pages this book contains more or less enough poems to be these days accounted the lifetime’s work of a poet. Those here, retrieved after R S Thomas’s death from the airless columns of long-dead magazines, are not quite the harvest of the wastepaper basket, but not one of them has been published in book form until now, the poet’s posthumous 100th birthday. They are just some of the poems he did not quite get round to throwing away.
R S Thomas wrote most days, which produced its own peculiar problems. When his Collected Poems appeared in 1995, collected not by the poet but by his son Gwydion (‘You go ahead then’), Thomas was startled and embarrassed to find that there were over a thousand of them, which gave