I Never Saw that Land Before

By Edward Thomas 1878–1917 Edward Thomas
I never saw that land before, 
And now can never see it again; 
Yet, as if by acquaintance hoar 
Endeared, by gladness and by pain, 
Great was the affection that I bore 
To the valley and the river small, 
The cattle, the grass, the bare ash trees, 
The chickens from the farmsteads, all 
Elm-hidden, and the tributaries
Descending at equal interval; 
The blackthorns down along the brook 
With wounds yellow as crocuses 
Where yesterday the labourer’s hook 
Had sliced them cleanly; and the breeze 
That hinted all and nothing spoke. 
I neither expected anything
Nor yet remembered: but some goal 
I touched then; and if I could sing 
What would not even whisper my soul 
As I went on my journeying, 
I should use, as the trees and birds did, 
A language not to be betrayed;
And what was hid should still be hid 
Excepting from those like me made 
Who answer when such whispers bid.
 

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Poet Edward Thomas 1878–1917

POET’S REGION England

Subjects Nature, Landscapes & Pastorals, Arts & Sciences, Language & Linguistics

Poetic Terms Rhymed Stanza

 Edward  Thomas

Biography

Such prominent critics and authors as Walter de la Mare, Aldous Huxley, Peter SacksSeamus Heaney, and Edna Longley have called Edward Thomas one of England's most important poets. Since 2000, much serious consideration has been given to Thomas's work. Most critics would agree with Andrew Motion, who states that Thomas occupies "a crucial place in the development of twentieth-century poetry" for introducing a modern . . .

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Nature, Landscapes & Pastorals, Arts & Sciences, Language & Linguistics

POET’S REGION England

Poetic Terms Rhymed Stanza

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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