Kneeling

By R. S. Thomas 1913–2000
Moments of great calm,
Kneeling before an altar
Of wood in a stone church
In summer, waiting for the God   
To speak; the air a staircase   
For silence; the sun’s light   
Ringing me, as though I acted   
A great rôle. And the audiences   
Still; all that close throng
Of spirits waiting, as I,
For the message.
                         Prompt me, God;
But not yet. When I speak,   
Though it be you who speak   
Through me, something is lost.   
The meaning is in the waiting.

R. S. Thomas, "Kneeling" from The Collected Later Poems: 1988-2000. Copyright © 2004 by R. S. Thomas.  Reprinted by permission of Bloodaxe Books Ltd. 


Source: The Collected Later Poems: 1988-2000 (Bloodaxe Books, 2004)

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Poet R. S. Thomas 1913–2000

POET’S REGION Wales

Subjects Religion, God & the Divine

 R. S. Thomas

Biography

Recognized as one of the leading poets of modern Wales, R. S. Thomas writes about the people of his country in a style that some critics have compared to that nation's harsh and rugged terrain. Using few of the common poetic devices, Thomas's work exhibits what Alan Brownjohn of the New Statesman calls a "cold, telling purity of language." James F. Knapp of Twentieth Century Literature explains that "the poetic world which . . .

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Religion, God & the Divine

POET’S REGION Wales

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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