Sunday, November 4, 2012

Sunday Poetry - Edward Thomas

One of the enduring images of WWI is the rain & mud of the trenches in France & Flanders. This poem by Edward Thomas (picture from here) isn't set in the trenches but it evokes that same feeling of desolation & loneliness. How many men & women must have lain awake in huts or tents or dugouts thinking of the possibility of their own death & hoping that their loved ones were safe?

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.


  1. Wow. This is a powerful poem and one I had not read before. I love your Sunday poetry -- keep them coming.

    1. Thanks Harriet. It is a beautiful poem, quiet & heartfelt.