The Thrush

By Edward Thomas 1878–1917 Edward Thomas
When Winter's ahead,
What can you read in November
That you read in April
When Winter's dead?
 
I hear the thrush, and I see
Him alone at the end of the lane
Near the bare poplar's tip,
Singing continuously.
 
Is it more that you know
Than that, even as in April,
So in November,
Winter is gone that must go?
 
Or is all your lore
Not to call November November,
And April April,
And Winter Winter—no more?
 
But I know the months all,
And their sweet names, April,
May and June and October,
As you call and call
 
I must remember
What died into April
And consider what will be born
Of a fair November;
 
And April I love for what
It was born of, and November
For what it will die in,
What they are and what they are not,
 
While you love what is kind,
What you can sing in
And love and forget in
All that's ahead and behind.

Discover this poem’s context and related poetry, articles, and media.

Poet Edward Thomas 1878–1917

POET’S REGION England

Subjects Nature, Animals, Fall, Landscapes & Pastorals, Spring, Summer, Weather, Winter

Poetic Terms Quatrain, 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 . . .

Continue reading this biography

Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Nature, Animals, Fall, Landscapes & Pastorals, Spring, Summer, Weather, Winter

POET’S REGION England

Poetic Terms Quatrain, Rhymed Stanza

Report a problem with this poem

Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

This poem has learning resources.

This poem is good for children.

This poem has related video.

This poem has related audio.