R.S. Thomas's Letters to be Published

22 May 2009

R.S.Thomas - Letters to Raymond Garlick 1951-1999  (Gomer) was published at the Hay Festival on Thursday 28 May. Editor Jason Walford Davies discussed the letters with Professor M Wynn Thomas at the Wales Literature Stand.

"Closer to a remarkable poet than any biography"  M. Wynn Thomas

The publication of R.S. Thomas’s letters will spark new debate about this fine poet’s vision, beliefs and struggles.  R.S.Thomas: Letters to Raymond Garlick 1951-1999  is published at the Hay Festival on Thursday May 28. His correspondence with fellow poet Raymond Garlick over half a century constitutes a unique and compelling cultural dialogue.

As well as providing fascinating insights into Thomas’s own life and work, the letters include telling observations on the work of other major writers, notably W.B.Yeats, Dylan Thomas and Ted Hughes.

October 1966:

 'I have said some sharp things about the English and the urban outlook, so must expect to be attacked. The trouble is in thinking one is important enough to be attacked.'  (This possibly in response to John Carey’s attacks on his poems in The New Statesman)

1977, on his retirement from the Church:

'I am glad to go from a Church I no longer believe in, sycophantic to the queen, iconoclastic with language, changing for the sake of change and regardless of beauty.'

1992, on travels:

'In Greece we pursued God up Olympus, but he vanished, as always, into thin air. The burned-up landscape did make me realise how we malign our own climate. We did have one downpour on Olympus. Perhaps God is a monkey after all. They like to urinate at strangers.'

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