Edward Thomas (1878-1917)

Image Source : The Edward Thomas Fellowship (All rights reserved.)
Photo of Edward Thomas at Wick Green (1913/14)
used with the kind permission of
The Edward Thomas Fellowship.

Philip Edward Thomas was born on 3rd March 1878 in 10 Upper Lansdowne Road North (now 14 Lansdowne Gardens) and died on the battlefields of Arras, France on 9th April 1917. Thomas was educated at St. Paul's School and Oxford University and had an interest in nature and the countryside. An unhappy and solitary person, he earned a living as a writer and journalist mainly on nature issues and 19th-century writers. In 1913 he met the American poet Robert Frost who encouraged him to try writing poetry. Much of his poetry was written after he joined the Army in 1915 and was only published after his death although some was published under the name Edward Eastaway during his lifetime.

His poetry is predominantly about nature and is noted for its quiet, unstressed, rhythms. His work has a fresh, unromantic feel, often with a melancholic, solitary atmosphere.

Link to the excellent Edward Thomas Fellowship website


Yes, I remember Adlestrop-
The name, because one afternoon
Of heat the express-train drew up there
Unwontedly. It was late June.

The steam hissed. Someone cleared his throat.
No one left and no one came
On the bare platform. What I saw
Was Adlestrop-only the name.

And willows, willow-herb, and grass,
And meadowsweet, and haycocks dry,
No whit less still and lonely fair
Than the high cloudlets in the sky.

And for that minute a blackbird sang
Close by, and round him, mistier,
Farther and farther, all the birds
Of Oxfordshire and Gloucestershire.

Edward Thomas