Ronald Stuart Thomas
Biography of Ronald Stuart Thomas
Ronald Stuart Thomas was born in Cardiff in 1913, the son of a sea captain. He was educated at University College of North Wales and later undertook theological training at St Michael's College in Cardiff. He was ordained as an Anglican priest in 1936.
During his time as a rector he began to write poetry and verse. His writing career continued for fifty years during which time he produced twenty volumes of poetry and was nominated for a Nobel prize and awarded the Queen's Gold Medal for Poetry. Whilst religion, understandably, was one of the major themes of his work, he also wrote about nature and about Welsh history. Thomas was fervent and often outspoken Welsh patriot and even wrote his autobiography Nab (Nobody - 1985) in Welsh.
Thomas enjoyed working in the countryside and spent his whole time as a clergyman working in rural parishes. He retired in 1978. His first wife Elsi, by whom he had a son, died in 1991 after 51 years of marriage. He later married his second wife, Betty, who was with him until his death. He died at the age of 87 n 25th September 2000.
Whilst still remembered for his Welsh republican views, it is for his religious poetry that he is still held in high regard. Of his work, he said:
"My chief aim is to make a poem . You make it for yourself firstly, and then if other people want to join in... then there we are." His Collected Poems was published in 1993 and is still available today.
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Ronald Stuart Thomas Poems
You go up the long track That will take a car, but is best walked On slow foot, noting the lichen That writes history on the page
A Day In Autumn
It will not always be like this, The air windless, a few last Leaves adding their decoration To the trees’ shoulders, braiding the cuffs
We live in our own world, A world that is too small For you to stoop and enter Even on hands and knees,
A Blackbird Singing
It seems wrong that out of this bird, Black, bold, a suggestion of dark Places about it, there yet should come Such rich music, as though the notes'
Death Of A Poet
Laid now on his smooth bed For the last time, watching dully Through heavy eyelids the day's colour Widow the sky, what can he say
Who said to the trout, You shall die on Good Friday To be food for a man And his pretty lady?
On The Farm
There was Dai Puw. He was no good. They put him in the fields to dock swedes, And took the knife from him, when he came home At late evening with a grin
I am a man now. Pass your hand over my brow. You can feel the place where the brains grow.
The Cat And The Sea
It is a matter of a black cat On a bare cliff top in March Whose eyes anticipate The gorse petals;
Iago Prytherch his name, though, be it allowed, Just an ordinary man of the bald Welsh hills, Who pens a few sheep in a gap of cloud. Docking mangels, chipping the green skin
A Welsh Testament
All right, I was Welsh. Does it matter? I spoke a tongue that was passed on To me in the place I happened to be, A place huddled between grey walls
The Way Of It
With her fingers she turns paint into flowers, with her body flowers into a remembrance of herself. She is at work
Who put that crease in your soul, Davies, ready this fine morning For the staid chapel, where the Book's frown Sobers the sunlight? Who taught you to pray
I praise you because you are artist and scientist in one. When I am somewhat fearful of your power,
Poetry For Supper
'Listen, now, verse should be as natural
As the small tuber that feeds on muck
And grows slowly from obtuse soil
To the white flower of immortal beauty.'
'Natural, hell! What was it Chaucer
Said once about the long toil
That goes like blood to the poem's making?
Leave it to nature and the verse sprawls,