A Writers Writer- Let R.S. Thomas Give You A Gift


One thing has led to another, again! It started with a fabulous blog #Emily Ardagh writes -A Poem For Everyday. Don’t miss it: http://emilyspoetryblog.com

First it was Anglican Clergy gardeners. I wrote about them in Greening of a Heart.  But, R.S. Thomas, Anglican poet? What about him? So I began some research. He was a priest/poet in the five hundred year Anglican tradition which includes John Donne, George Herbert, Charles Wesley, and others.  Thomas’ priesthood was spent in rural parishes, but the poetry he wrote won him international acclaim. In 1936, Thomas was ordained a deacon in the Anglican Church and was assigned to work as a curate in the Welsh mining village of Chirk. In 1937 he became an Anglican priest. People have written that Thomas was a man of deep contradictions who wrote of the Welsh people and landscape and also of God, accepting both belief and doubt and experiencing God’s presence and absence as part of the life of faith. Now I have downloaded on my Kindle John G. McEllhenney, author of A Masterwork of Doubting Belief: R. S. Thomas and His Poetry; can hardly wait to learn more. In reading the poem Emily posted on her blog, I am sure you will understand how this beautiful piece has totally captivated me.  

‘The Bright Field’

I have seen the sun break through
to illuminate a small field
for a while, and gone my way
and forgotten it. But that was the
pearl of great price, the one field that had
treasure in it. I realise now
that I must give all that I have
to possess it. Life is not hurrying

on to a receding future, nor hankering after
an imagined past. It is the turning
aside like Moses to the miracle
of the lit bush, to a brightness
that seemed as transitory as your youth
once, but is the eternity that awaits you.



About Stepheny Forgue Houghtlin

Stepheny Forgue Houghtlin grew up in Evanston, IL. and is a graduate of the University of Kentucky. She is an author of two novels: The Greening of a Heart and Facing East. She lives, writes and gardens in NC. Visit her: Stephenyhoughtlin.com
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