Branch-Lines: Edward Thomas and Contemporary Poetry

Edward Thomas, Guy Cuthbertson (ed.), Lucy Newlyn (ed.)

Branch-Lines: Edward Thomas and Contemporary Poetry

The one hundred and forty poems he wrote in the last two years of his life are a miracle. I can think of no body of work in English that is more mysterious.' - Michael Longley. When Edward Thomas died in the First World War, very few of his poems had been published, but he is now recognised as one of the finest and most influential poets of the last century. Although often referred to as 'a poet's poet', his writing has an almost universal appeal. He wrote accessibly, on traditional themes - the natural world, human relationships, transience and mortality. And yet his poetry is alive with the critical intelligence that came from years of writing non-fiction and reviewing verse. "Branch-Lines" captures the range of Thomas' achievement, not least by combining poetry with prose. In this unique collection, fifty-five contemporary poets reflect on Thomas' craftsmanship and enduring power. Some have chosen poems of their own in which they detect his influence, others have written new poems in his honour. 5.0 out of 5 based on 2 reviews
Branch-Lines: Edward Thomas and Contemporary Poetry

Omniscore:

Classification Fiction
Genre Poetry
Format Hardback
Pages 264
RRP £15.00
Date of Publication November 2007
ISBN 978-1904634355
Publisher Enitharmon Press
 

The one hundred and forty poems he wrote in the last two years of his life are a miracle. I can think of no body of work in English that is more mysterious.' - Michael Longley. When Edward Thomas died in the First World War, very few of his poems had been published, but he is now recognised as one of the finest and most influential poets of the last century. Although often referred to as 'a poet's poet', his writing has an almost universal appeal. He wrote accessibly, on traditional themes - the natural world, human relationships, transience and mortality. And yet his poetry is alive with the critical intelligence that came from years of writing non-fiction and reviewing verse. "Branch-Lines" captures the range of Thomas' achievement, not least by combining poetry with prose. In this unique collection, fifty-five contemporary poets reflect on Thomas' craftsmanship and enduring power. Some have chosen poems of their own in which they detect his influence, others have written new poems in his honour.

Reviews

The Guardian

Adam Newey

The poems in this inestimable book are in no way all homages; still less are they imitations or pastiches. But they are all indebted in some way to Thomas. Where appropriate, the relevant Thomas poem is printed alongside its modern descendant... a fitting tribute to a body of work whose pure clarity of utterance, 91 years after the death of its begetter, still pulses with feeling, thoughtful life.

14/06/2008

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The Observer

Adam Phillips

Using wonderful quotations from Thomas's voluminous prose works and from his letters, Longley's edition does something that biography, even at its best, can never quite do: it allows the reader to drop the idea that in a writer's life, one thing causes another... After reading Thomas again in Longley's always informative and often intriguing edition, he seems subtler and more cunning as a poet and his often evocative, descriptive prose seems full of potential, poetry waiting to happen.

15/04/2009

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