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The Art of Edward Thomas

Jonathan Barker
Publication Date: 
Monday, March 2, 1987
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In his lifetime, Edward Thomas was known as a critic, essayist and author of numerous prose books. But today he is most valued for the 144 poems - some of the most memorable of our century - written in just two years, shortly before Thomas’s death at Arras in 1917 aged thirty-nine.

Increasingly Thomas has come to be seen as a figure of major importance, central to the development of modern British poetry. His poems express a complex, questioning, modern sensibility while remaining alive to the beauties of the world. They are simultaneously understated and revolutionary in form and rhythm and have exerted a quiet yet incisive influence on many poets of our day.

Thomas’s poems, always popular with readers but for long undervalued by critics of poetry, have, over the past decade, attracted an increasing amount of critical attention. This book consists of nine new essays by leading poets and critics, and provides a varied contemporary view of Thomas as poet, prose-writer, critic and anthologist, making possible a re-evaluation on the seventieth anniversary of his death. The editor has included an Introduction tracing the course of Thomas studies, a Chronology of his life and a Bibliography of books by and on Thomas.

This volume provides both an introduction to Edward Thomas for new readers and also an up-to-date picture of Thomas today for the student of literature.

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