R.S. Thomas (1913-2000) is a major writer of our time, one of the
finest religious poets in the English language and one of Wales's
greatest poets. His output was prolific: over six decades he
published some 25 individual collections of poems, as well as
several volumes of prose. A substantial number of his poems,
however, have hitherto remained uncollected, and often elusive -
poems published in newspapers, magazines and journals (many of them
obscure), as well as in private or limited editions. Uncollected
Poems - published to mark the centenary of Thomas's birth - brings
together for the first time a rigorous selection of the best of
these. The fruit of several years' research by Tony Brown and Jason
Walford Davies, the volume makes available work which spans the
whole of Thomas's career - from an early sonnet to his first wife,
M.E. Eldridge (included in his first, unpublished, collection
Spindrift in the late 1930s) and an early Iago Prytherch poem
published in the Dublin Magazine, to poems which are powerful
expressions of the metaphysical meditations of his later years.
R.S. Thomas's Uncollected Poems takes its place alongside Collected
Poems 1945-1990 (Dent, 1993; Phoenix, 2000), Selected Poems
(Penguin, 2003) and Collected Later Poems 1988-2000 (Bloodaxe
Books, 2004). It gives readers of R.S. Thomas's work access to much
new and fascinating material. Uncollected Poems is a companion
volume to R.S. Thomas's Collected Later Poems 1988-2000 (Bloodaxe
Books, 2004), the sequel to Collected Poems 1945-1990 (Dent, 1993;
Phoenix Press, 2000), which only covers his collections up to
Experimenting with an Amen (1986). Collected Later Poems 1988-2000
reprints in full the contents of R.S. Thomas's last five
collections, The Echoes Return Slow (Macmillan, 1988: unavailable
for many years), and Bloodaxe's Counterpoint (1990), Mass for Hard
Times (1992), No Truce with the Furies (1995) and the posthumously
published Residues (2002). There is no overlap between the two
Bloodaxe editions: none of the poems in Residues, uncollected at
the time of his death in 2000, is included in Uncollected Poems.
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