Skip to content

Prose & Poems

Here you will find extracts from Edward Thomas’s prose & poems intended to show his concerns and his development as a writer.

From the Woodland

From The Woodland Life (1897), Edward Thomas’s first book, published when he was just 19 years old. A description of the English countryside in winter.

At length the road emerges from its groove on to the hill-top, and once more it is level and bounded by narrow woods of spruce, whence comes the startling challenge of the pheasant-cocks. Meanwhile the twilight air has become keener and the wind rises — humming through the green firs. The smaller birds are nearly all in cover, and only a belated pipit or a steady flapping rook moves aloft in the rude air. 

Sometimes, in the hedges that line the way, robins rustle gently and fly a yard or two, or a blackbird blusters out; otherwise the life so lately stirring is silent, and the tomtits are rocked asleep amid the swaying larch-boughs.Continue Reading

The Diary of Edward Thomas

From The Diary of Edward Thomas 1 January – 8 April 1917 (1977). Edward Thomas made this diary entry about six weeks before his death in action on the Western Front.

23 [February 1917]
Chaffinch sang once. Another dull cold day. Inspected stables, checked inventory of new billet for men in Rue Jeanne d’Arc, went with Colonel round 244, 141 and 234 positions and O.P. in Achicourt. Afternoon maps. Partridges twanging in fields. Flooded fields by stream between the 2 sides of Achicourt. ruined churches, churchyard and railway. Sordid ruin of Estaminet with carpenter’s shop over it in Rue Jeanne d’Arc — wet, mortar, litter, almanacs, bottles, broken glass, damp beds, dirty paper, knife, crucifix, statuette, old chairs.Continue Reading