Edward Thomas

(3 March 1878 - 9 April 1917 / London / England)

Tall Nettles


TALL nettles cover up, as they have done
These many springs, the rusty harrow, the plough
Long worn out, and the roller made of stone:
Only the elm butt tops the nettles now.

This corner of the farmyard I like most:
As well as any bloom upon a flower
I like the dust on the nettles, never lost
Except to prove the sweetness of a shower.

Submitted: Tuesday, December 31, 2002

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  • David Spanswick (7/19/2006 9:28:00 AM)

    this has long been one of my favourite poems, it is a lightning flash of an image and the poet makes it so clear what he wants you to see, this inconsequential corner where he may sit and gaze, in safety, at the mundanity of the world that. for him, as for millions of others, was about to change forever with the advent of WW1. The power in these few lines can take on a mantra like quality and also offers an early example of less is more. Here the microcosm of the abandoned corner of the yard reflects the chaos to come and the impossibility it is to return to an innocent and simpler life. (Report) Reply

  • Jose Gallego (3/6/2006 1:02:00 PM)

    Really e. thomas, with a few words, is expresing his life; he loves English landscape and he enjoyed how nature survive against artificial things or tools; in this way, tall nettles cover the rusty harrow; his life is a fight too, he looks a very nervous man fighting for the country he loves, so he write 'this corner of the farmyard I like most' to end with a few pleasure words' the sweetness of a shower;

    His poems are a mixture of love for Eglish landscape and the nature life; his words, with sweetness adorn his passions. (Report) Reply

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