The Untamed

By R. S. Thomas 1913–2000
My garden is the wild
   Sea of the grass. Her garden
Shelters between walls.
   The tide could break in;
   I should be sorry for this.

There is peace there of a kind,
   Though not the deep peace
Of wild places. Her care
   For green life has enabled
   The weak things to grow.

Despite my first love,
   I take sometimes her hand,
Following straight paths
   Between flowers, the nostril
   Clogged with their thick scent.

The old softness of lawns
   Persuading the slow foot
Leads to defection; the silence
   Holds with its gloved hand
   The wild hawk of the mind.

But not for long, windows,
   Opening in the trees
Call the mind back
   To its true eyrie; I stoop
   Here only in play.

R. S. Thomas, “The Untamed” from The Poems of R. S. Thomas. Copyright © Kunjana Thomas 2001.  Reprinted by permission of University of Arizona Press.

Source: The Poems of R. S. Thomas (1985)

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Poet R. S. Thomas 1913–2000

POET’S REGION Wales

Subjects Activities, Gardening, Nature, Landscapes & Pastorals, Trees & Flowers, Animals

 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 Activities, Gardening, Nature, Landscapes & Pastorals, Trees & Flowers, Animals

POET’S REGION Wales

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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