Thursday, March 22, 2012

Edward Thomas, war and friendship

Connections and a question for Leaving Certificate pupils-
Matthew Hollis's fine and affecting new biography of Edward Thomas, Now All Roads Lead to France - the last years of Edward Thomas, focusses on Thomas's friendship with Robert Frost (elucidating 'The Road Not Taken' in a new way), and ends with the writer's death in France in April 1917. 95 years ago this month, Thomas wrote this in a letter to his friend, the poet Walter de la Mare:

We might see the apple blossom but I doubt that. Nobody is very hopeful. I think myself that things may go on at this rate for more than a year. The rate may be changed, but not if the Hun can help it, and his retirement looks very inconvenient in every way. I wish you had said more about Frost. One is absolutely friendless here ... You say it would be good if we could have a talk, but, you know, I fancy it would not do to have a real friend out here.

For our pupils in VI and V studying How Many Miles to Bablyon? and thinking of Alec and Jerry - why?

Below, Matthew Hollis reads from the book and talks about the origins of Thomas's poetry (the first also looks at 'The Road Not Taken').



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