22 Famous Edward Thomas Poems For You To Enjoy

If you are looking for Edward Thomas poems then you are at the right place.

Philip Edward Thomas was born on 3 March 1878 was a British poet, essayist, and novelist. Known as a war poet even though most of his poems have nothing to do with the experiences he had during wars. He became a poet after having already been a successful critic literary and writer.

Edward Thomas War Poems

Writing his first poems in 1914, Thomas published his first book of verse Six Poems in 1916 and was the only book he lived to see in print.

Edward Thomas died on 9 April 1917 in action during World War I.

His poetry became famous shortly after his death, and he has been admired by writers such as W.B. Yeats, Ezra Pound, and Robert Frost.

Edward Thomas wrote about the natural world, but he did it in a way that was very different from other nature poets. He wrote with clarity and simplicity and was one of the first modernists to write free verse. After his death, his poems were published in collections like The South Country and Last Poems.

Here we are sharing a collection of Edward Thomas poems for you to enjoy the beauty of nature.

Edward Thomas Poems

“The simple lack of her is more to me than others’ presence.”
― Edward Thomas

“and I rose up, and knew that I was tired, and continued my journey”
― Edward Thomas, Light, and Twilight

“The past is the only dead thing that smells sweet.”
― Edward Thomas

“You cannot make chicken salad out of chicken shit.”
― Edward Thomas

“The moment we recognize an illusion as illusion, it ceases to be an illusion and becomes an expression or aspect of reality and experience.”
― Edward Thomas, The South Country

“Roads go on
While we forget and are
Forgotten like a star
That shoots and is gone.”
― Edward Thomas

“Lights Out”
I have come to the borders of sleep,
The unfathomable deep
Forest where all must lose
Their way, however straight,
Or winding, soon or late;
They cannot choose.
Many a road and track
That, since the dawn’s first crack,
Up to the forest brink,
Deceived the travelers,
Suddenly now blurs,
And in they sink.
Here love ends,
Despair, ambition ends;
All pleasure and all trouble,
Although most sweet or bitter,
Here ends in sleep that is sweeter
Than tasks most noble.
There is not any book
Or face of dearest look
That I would not turn from now
To go into the unknown
I must enter, and leave, alone,
I know not how.
The tall forest towers;
Its cloudy foliage lowers
Ahead, shelf above shelf;
Its silence I hear and obey
That I may lose my way
And myself.”
― Edward Thomas, Complete Poetical Works of Edward Thomas

“The sky would be nothing more to his eye
Then he, in any case, is to the sky.”
― Edward Thomas, Collected Poems

“There is nothing at the end of any road better than may be found beside it.”
― Edward Thomas, The Icknield Way

“Over the land freckled with snow half-thawed
The speculating rooks at their nests cawed
And saw from elm-tops, delicate as flowers of grass,
What we below could not see, Winter pass.”
― Edward Thomas

Selected Poems Of Edward Thomas “War Poet”

“You English words?
I know you:
You are light as dreams,
Tough as oak,
Precious as gold,
As poppies and corn,
Or an old cloak:
Sweet as our birds
To the ear,
As the burnet rose
In the heat
Of Midsummer”
― Edward Thomas

“Verse is the natural speech of men, as singing is of birds’
The Week’s Survey, 18 June 1904”
― Edward Thomas

“If he [Pound] is not careful he will take to meaning what he says instead of saying what he means.”
― Edward Thomas

“I like to think how easily Nature will absorb London as she absorbed the mastodon, setting her spiders to spin the winding-sheet and her worms to fill in the grave, and her grass to cover it pitifully up, adding flowers – as an unknown hand added them to the grave of Nero.”
― Edward Thomas, The South Country

“This ploughman dead in battle slept out of doors
Many a frozen night, and merrily
Answered staid drinkers, good bedmen, and all bores:
“At Mrs. Greenland’s Hawthorn Bush,” said he,
“I slept.” None knew which bush. Above the town,
Beyond `The Drover’, a hundred spot the down
In Wiltshire. And where now at last he sleeps
More sound in France -that, too, he secret keeps.”
― Edward Thomas

“To-day I think
Only with scents, – scents dead leaves yield,
And bracken, and wild carrot’s seed,
And the square mustard field;
Odours that rise
When the spade wounds the root of tree,
Rose, currant, raspberry, or goutweed,
Rhubarb or celery;
The smoke’s smell, too,
Flowing from where a bonfire burns
The dead, the waste, the dangerous,
And all to sweetness turns.
It is enough
To smell, to crumble the dark earth,
While the robin sings over again
Sad songs of Autumn mirth.”
― Edward Thomas, Collected Poems

“I lay awake listening to the rain, and at first it was as pleasant to my ear and my mind as it had long been desired; but before I fell asleep it had become a majestic and finally a terrible thing, instead of a sweet sound and symbol. It was accusing and trying me and passing judgment. Long I lay still under the sentence, listening to the rain, and then at last listening to words which seemed to be spoken by a ghostly double beside me. He was muttering: The all-night rain puts out summer like a torch. In the heavy, black rain falling straight from invisible, dark sky to invisible, dark earth the heat of summer is annihilated, the splendour is dead, the summer is gone. The midnight rain buries it away where it has buried all sound but its own. I am alone in the dark still night, and my ear listens to the rain piping in the gutters and roaring softly in the trees of the world. Even so will the rain fall darkly upon the grass over the grave when my ears can hear it no more…
The summer is gone, and never can it return. There will never be any summer any more, and I am weary of everything… I am alone.
The truth is that the rain falls for ever and I am melting into it. Black and monotonously sounding is the midnight and solitude of the rain. In a little while or in an age – for it is all one – I shall know the full truth of the words I used to love, I knew not why, in my days of nature, in the days before the rain: ‘Blessed are the dead that the rain rains on.”
― Edward Thomas

Tall Nettles
Tall nettles cover up, as they have done
These many springs, the rusty harrow, the plough
Long worn out, and the roller made of stone :
Only the elm butt tops the nettles now.
This corner of the farmyard I like most:
As well as any bloom upon a flower
I like the dust on the nettles, never lost
Except to prove the sweetness of a shower.”
― Edward Thomas, Collected Poems

“How nice it would be to be dead if only we could know we were dead. That is what I hate, the not being able to turn round in the grave and to say It is over.”
― Edward Thomas, Letters from Edward Thomas to Gordon Bottomley

“Rain, midnight rain, nothing but the wild rain
On this bleak hut, and solitude, and me
Remembering again that I shall die
And neither hear the rain nor give it thanks
For washing me cleaner than I have been
Since I was born into this solitude.
Blessed are the dead that the rain rains upon:
But here I pray that none whom once I loved
Is dying to-night or lying still awake
Solitary, listening to the rain,
Either in pain or thus in sympathy
Helpless among the living and the dead,
Like a cold water among broken reeds,
Myriads of broken reeds all still and stiff,
Like me who have no love which this wild rain
Has not dissolved except the love of death,
If love it be towards what is perfect and
Cannot, the tempest tells me, disappoint.”
― Edward Thomas

Yes, I remember Adlestrop —
The name, because one afternoon
Of heat the express-train drew up there
Unwontedly. It was late June.
The steam hissed. Someone cleared his throat.
No one left and no one came
On the bare platform. What I saw
Was Adlestrop — only the name
And willows, willow-herb, and grass,
And meadowsweet, and haycocks dry,
No whit less still and lonely fair
Than the high cloudlets in the sky.
And for that minute a blackbird sang
Close by, and round him, mistier,
Farther and farther, all the birds
Of Oxfordshire and Gloucestershire.”
― Edward Thomas

“The flowers left thick at nightfall in the wood
This Eastertide call into mind the men,
Now far from home, who, with their sweethearts, should
Have gathered them and will do never again.”
― Edward Thomas

Did you like these Edward Thomas poems?

Edward Thomas’ life and his work had been received attention from many poets and scholars. In Edward Thomas: From Adlestrop to Arras (2015) which was written by Jean Moorcroft Wilson is a full biography of Thomas.

Wilson offered a frank assessment of Thomas’ life where he mention his struggles with depression, marital troubles, and many attempts at suicide. You can read his full biography in this book. We hope you will like and enjoy reading these Edward Thomas poems as much as we enjoyed sharing them with you.

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