No. 57, Roads (February 2013)

Please click on link to download the issue (No. 57, Roads)

Table of contents

  1.           Frost, The Road Not Taken (1916)

                I.   THE POET (1914-1915)

  2.           Thomas, Interval (December 1914)

  3.           Thomas, The Combe (December 1914)

  4.           Thomas, Over the Hills (January 1915)

  5.           Thomas, Beauty (January 1915)

  6.           Thomas, Will you come? (March 1915)

  7.           Thomas, The Path (March 1915)

  8.           Thomas, Lob (April 1915)

  9.           Thomas, Digging (April 1915)

10.           Thomas, Song (April 1915)

11.           Thomas, The Chalk Pit (May 1915)

12.           Thomas, Words (June 1915)

13.           Thomas, Aspens (July 1915)

                II.  THE SOLDIER (1915-1916)

14.           Thomas, Liberty (November 1915)

15.           Thomas, Rain (January 1916)

16.           Thomas, Roads (January 1916)

17.           Thomas, No one so much as you (February 1916)

18            Thomas, Go now (April 1916)

19.           Thomas, I never saw that land before (May 1916)

20.           Thomas, Some eyes condemn (May 1916)

21.           Thomas, The Green Roads (June 1916)

22.           Thomas, The Dark Forest (July 1916)

23.           Thomas, Gone, Gone Again (September 1916)

24.           Thomas, When first I came (October 1916)

25.           Thomas, Lights Out (November 1916)

26.           Note

The dominant metaphor in the poetry of Edward Thomas is the image of the road. The road pre-exists and waits for the traveller, and is something he follows; unless he leaves it, the road, rather than the traveller, determines where he goes. We hint at its almost animate presence when we ask: ‘Where does this road go?’, as if it, and not we, undertake the journey. And, insofar as it is linked to every other road, the extent of its reach is limited only by the will of the traveller. But on that journey choices must be made: to go on, turn back, and above all when, at a junction or meeting of roads, more than one direction is possible, which road to take. The road, therefore, is also a metaphor for language, which awaits the poet, and whose twists and turns of phrase he must navigate if he is to make himself a new road – that of the poem, which will take him where he thinks he wants to go. But who is leading whom, and where will it take him? No wonder, then, that Thomas saw in the road the image of his life, and the choices which, less than two-and-a-half years after he began to write poems, led to his death, on the 9th of April, 1917, in the trenches of Northern France.

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