Thursday, April 26, 2007


Some ask the world
and are diminished
in the receiving
of it. You gave me

only this small pool
that the more I drink
from, the more overflows
me with sourceless light.

(RS Thomas, Collected Poems, 1945-1990)

Friday, April 13, 2007

RS at Easter III

The final in our series of R S Thomas poems over Easter is ‘The Kingdom’. Here he holds over the conclusion of each sentence deliberately disrupting the reading of each line. The effect is to underline the paradox of the Christian life: we await the coming of the Kingdom, dreaming of it, but not yet seeing it fully...

To my mind it’s one of his finest poems and often reminds me what faith is all for…

The Kingdom

It’s a long way off but inside it
There are quite different things going on:
Festivals at which the poor man
Is king and the consumptive is
Healed; mirrors in which the blind look
At themselves and love looks at them
Back; and industry is for mending
The bent bones and the minds fractured
By life. It’s a long way off, but to get
There takes no time and admission
Is free, if you purge yourself
Of desire, and present yourself with
Your need only and the simple offering
Of your faith, green as a leaf.

Taken from RS Thomas, Collected Poems 1945-1990.

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