I’m re-reading the poetry of the Welsh Anglican priest poet, R.S. Thomas. He priested in Rural Wales and sensed the decline, the “rural waste”, we are all sensing around us increasingly away from urban areas. I quote from his poem ‘The Welsh Hill Country’:
“too far for you to see
the moss and the cold of the cold chimneys
the nettles growing through the cracked doors
the house stands empty…..
there are holes in the roof that are patched by sunlight
and the fields are reverting to the bare moor.
LATER IN THE POEM HIS GAZE IS ON A FARMER.
too far, too far to see
the set of his eyes and the slow disease
wasting his frame under the tripped coat
there’s a man still farming…
contributing grimly to the accepted pattern
the embryo music dead in his throat.
Can’t you smell the stale, musty feel this January day! And the question is, side by side with that, where is new life breaking through?
It’s a snap shot.
Is it too far to see or is the donkey laughing?