Etched by Silence: A pilgrimage through the poetry
of R. S. Thomas
Jim Cotter, compiler
Canterbury Press £9.99
Church Times Bookshop £9 (Use code CT477
JIM COTTER has selected 52 poems by R. S. Thomas, including the
one the poet himself cherished at the end, with a view to helping
people to use them to make a personal pilgrimage. A few are well
known, while many others, though perhaps once read, may not have
been taken in at a first reading, or have been quickly forgotten;
so it is good to have this compilation.
They have been chosen, mainly from the poems from the 1970s
onwards, not just because each one fits neatly on to a single page,
but because they focus fairly directly on the poet's unending quest
for and argument with God.
Originally designed for a physical pilgrimage on the Llŷn
Peninsula, the collection now includes simple suggestions where or
when the poem might be used. It is an excellent selection, and I
cannot thinkof a better way into the heart of Thomas's own
Reading the poems also made me realise, as never before, how
much each one reflects his personal struggle at a particular point
in his ministry.
The Rt Revd Lord Harries of Pentregarth is the author
of The Image of Christ in Modern Art (Ashgate,