Well, That’s a Pain! | Why There’s No R.S. Thomas Post Today

Some bloggers have hips and ankles that harbor arthritis, hamstrings that tighten up, lymph systems that become sluggish.

This blogger woke up on October 26th with all those things conspiring to make him moan, “Well, that’s a pain!”

Three therapy sessions later, I’m walking short distances with some comfort, unloading the dishwasher without sitting down between trips to the cupboards, stretching my hamstrings when I get up in the morning.

All this is only part of the reason, however, why there was no blog last Wednesday and why today’s blog is personal.

I’ve been thinking about and writing about R. S. Thomas, just not in blog form.

The writing is for two projects: an essay and a series of talks.

I’ve agreed to write about 3,000 words for a book of remembrances of Thomas. My title is “Remembering R. S. Thomas: A But . . . But . . . Butting . . . Poet-Priest.”

Next May, I’m scheduled to give seven talks about Thomas’s poetry at Gladstone’s Library in Hawarden, Wales. So I’ve been writing synopses to keep in front of me as I reread Thomas’s poems. My goal is to have poems to accompany each talk that are not the poems that would immediately pop into my head. Some of my topics will be thoughts that I’ve often thought about R.S.’s poetry, some will be new ones – all of them illustrated by poems that are not now glued to my gray cells.

Thomas would call what I’ve just said “nail-parings.”

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8 thoughts on “Well, That’s a Pain! | Why There’s No R.S. Thomas Post Today

  1. I have to ‘like’ your comment to say ‘Too bad John’ or as my 17 yr old would say ‘I’m feeling you.’
    Good luck with making greater adventurers on your pins and courage for the writing. Having just discovered this blog I want it go on and on!!

    • Thanks. And I like “I’m feeling you,” although way back in my high school and college days, it had a different meaning!

      I’ll go on as long as . . . well . . . as long as long goes on, and I hope I won’t lose you. Please let me know when you’re with me, when you’re not.

  2. They say that “old age doesn’t come on it’s own”. And good to know that you have the support with therapists to help get you back on your feet. Keep up with the exercises. RS was, as you know, what some would call ” in rude health” no doubt due, in no small part, to his daily walks along the coastline of his Aberdaron parish. However, he too must have creaked a little after a session of ‘Sea-watching’ when he “… became the hermit / of the rocks, habited with the wind / and the mist. ….” sounds awfully cold and damp to me. Stay warm.

    • I agree, Sue, with your image of RS as a hermit of the rocks. Whenever I read that phrase in his poem, I’m reminded of Samuel Johnson’s cheeky letter to Lord Chesterfield: “The Shepherd in Virgil grew at last acquainted with Love, and found him a Native of the Rocks.” And that can lead on to thoughts of “Tidal.” And your “sounds awfully cold” reminds me of the picture of RS on page 69 of that splendid book you sent me, “Cofio RS.” There he is, laying on his back among the rocks, with his field glasses trained on the sky. And that . . . . “Stop, John; enough is enough!”

  3. I always appreciate your informative blog postings. I’m new to the work of R.S. Thomas and am appreciating the education of him through your post. Hope you can keep us posted.

    • Thanks, Michael. Twenty years ago, I promised Thomas that I’d do what I could to make others aware of his poetry. Your assurance that what I promised is being achieved is heartening. Therapy is helping, and my blog for this Sunday is all but finished.

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