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R.S. Thomas- Brief Bio


Ronald Stuart Thomas lived from March 29, 1913 to September 25, 2000. He published his works as R. S. Thomas, he was a Welsh poet and Anglican Priest (ordained in 1936). He was born in Cardiff but moved to Anglesey in his early life. He is a primitivist. He believed that modern man has separated himself from the natural world by choosing to respond to his environment analytically rather than imaginatively. Modern culture, with its cities, its machines and its waste, reflects this state of separation. He suggests that a close imaginative connection with the natural world is to be valued because through it we may sometimes achieve a close connection with God. By adopting a mechanistic, analytical view of Nature we effectively deny God’s existence, and condemn ourselves to live in a spiritless cosmos. And this loss of spiritual awareness has taken place not only in Wales, but all over the world, wherever primitive ways of life have been uprooted and destroyed by the onset of modernity.

Thomas’s first book of poetry, The Stones of the Field (1946), was followed by more than twenty additional individual collections. No Truce with the Furies (1995) was the last book of poems he saw into print. In addition to these, Thomas published several volumes of selected poems (1955, 1973; a posthumous edition appeared in 2004), a collected volume, Collected Poems: 1945- 1990 and Collected Later Poems, 1988-2000 (2004). He published numerous essays and reviews, many of them written and published initially or only in Welsh.

In his long career he received many awards and honours. Among them the most notable are the Heinemann Award from the Royal Society of Literature (1955), the Queen’s Gold Medal for poetry (1964), four welsh Arts Council Awards, the Cholmondeley Award (1978), the Cheltenhem Prize (1993), the Horst Bienek Prize for poetry from the Bavarian Academy of Fine Arts (1996), the Lannan Lifetime Achievement Award for Poetry (1996), and a nomination for the Nobel Prize for Literature (1996).


British writers. Supplement XII

Outcasts from Eden : ideas of landscape in British poetry since 1945 by Picot, Edward

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