Science and nature
in R. S. Thomas

This chapter is concerned with looking through that change in vocabulary and into the more exact nature of R. S. Thomas's struggle with the machine and, finally, into his ideas concerning pure science. There are a handful of poems in which, with William Wordsworth, Thomas envisions a possible unity between applied science and poetry. The chapter examines these in detail. To contextualise Thomas's position, many of the 'objections' to applied science are echoed by his Welsh contemporary, the poet David James Jones, most often referred to by his bardic name of Gwenallt. The chapter discusses these objections. It looks briefly at one further implication for Thomas of the machine's destruction of what he sees as a more ancient relationship between humankind and the earth. The chapter closes by examining Thomas's use of irony in the later poems on applied science.

R. S. Thomas

Identity, environment, and deity


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