Friday, June 19, 2009

A Poem by R.S. Thomas

The following poem was penned by the late Welsh poet and Anglican priest, R.S. Thomas (1913-2000).

One Life

Growing up
is to leave the fireside
with its tales,
the burying of the head
between God’s knees.
It is to perceive
that knowledge of him comes
from the genes’ breaking
of an involved code,
from the mind’s parallel
at-homeness with missile and scalpel.

Literature is on the way
out. The still, small voice
is that of Orpheus looking
over his shoulder at a dream
fading. At the mouth
of the cave is the machine’s
whirlwind, hurrying the new
arts in, advancing the threshold
of our permitted exposure to
its becquerels and decibels.

From Collected Later Poems 1988-2000.

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