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Arbie's Unoriginally Titled Book Blog

It's a blog! Mainly of book reviews.

Currently reading

Ack-Ack Macaque
Gareth L. Powell
Progress: 249/792 pages
Introduction to Topology
Bert Mendelson
Progress: 10/224 pages
Isaac Newton
James Gleick
Progress: 20/289 pages
Basics of Plasma Astrophysics
Claudio Chiuderi, Marco Velli
Progress: 58/250 pages
Ursula K. Le Guin: The Complete Orsinia: Malafrena / Stories and Songs (The Library of America)
Brian Attebery, Ursula K. Le Guin
Progress: 454/700 pages
A Student's Guide to Lagrangians and Hamiltonians
Patrick Hamill
Progress: 7/180 pages
Complete Poems, 1904-1962
E.E. Cummings
Progress: 232/1102 pages
The Complete Plays and Poems
E.D. Pendry, J.C. Maxwell, Christopher Marlowe
Gravitation (Physics Series)
Kip Thorne;Kip S. Thorne;Charles W. Misner;John Archibald Wheeler;John Wheeler
Progress: 48/1215 pages
I Am a Cat
Graeme Wilson, Aiko Ito, Sōseki Natsume
Progress: 410/638 pages

Uncollected Poems, R.S. Thomas

R.S. Thomas: Uncollected Poems - R.S. Thomas, Tony Brown, Jason Walford Davies

Let's just ignore the irony/confusion of collecting up a pile of poems, publishing them in a book and titling said book, "Uncollected Poems." They're poems that were never published in a collection during Thomas' lifetime...


...which led me to have low expectations; surely this meant Thomas didn't rate them? Of course copyright issues and questions of theme may also have been responsible in some or all cases...


...but I have completist tendencies, so having read both volumes of Thomas' Collected Poems and believing I'd read all his poetry, I just had to have this when I stumbled across it...


...so, naff works that should have been left in obscurity or lost gems rightly brought back into the light? More the latter than the former, I am glad to say. There are some very worthwhile poems here, though the predominant themes are the same as you would find in the "Collected" volumes. The same trends and developments are also visible as the poems are presented chronologically, except for the experimental urge given expression late on, obvious in Collected Later Poems, which is invisible here. I found the same preponderance of favourites early (1950s) and late (last 15 years or so) as I did in the bigger books, so this volume could perhaps be considered as a pretty good microcosm or overview of Thomas' career, however, it doesn't have the most famous poems. If you want to try Thomas' poetry out, Selected Poems is the way to go. This book is for established fans.


In case you are completely unfamiliar with R.S. Thomas, I refer you to the following reviews which discuss his work thematically, at least a little: