Christopher Morgan
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Theologies and beyond
in R. S. Thomas

This chapter begins with an examination of the philosophical grounding for R. S. Thomas's 'religious poetry' as found in his 1966 article 'A Frame for Poetry' and in his 1963 'Introduction' to The Penguin Book of Religious Verse. It then examines Thomas's 'mythic' poems by focusing on the 1972 collection H'm. The H'm begins with its opening poem, 'Once', which features all of Thomas's mythic elements. Having examined 'Once', the chapter discusses some of these poems in order to underscore their alternating emphases and conclusions and to encourage a view of Thomas's mythic poems not as static or repetitive but as creating. A sequential comparison of these poems indicates a pattern with regard to Thomas's depiction of deity which goes on to alternate between divine violence and divine compassion. The poem finally ends in a curious synthesis of all of these characteristics.

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R. S. Thomas

Identity, environment, and deity


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