Edward Thomas in Contentment Shock! And Almeida Theatre.
I'm sorry about the cheap joke, but I was fairly surprised when I came upon a poem I didn't know while trawling through looking for something about rivers. Of course Edward Thomas was a Piscean, should you believe in these things. I added it to Monday's blog but I doubt if many people will have seen it so I'm putting it in again, below.
A New Play, The Dark Earth and the Light Sky
by Nick Dear, directed by Richard Eyre, starts at the Almeida, Islington on Thursday 8th Nov, running till January 12th.
Here is the 'blurb'-
Deep in the Hampshire countryside Edward Thomas scrapes a living; disaffected husband, exhausted father and tormented writer. Then in 1913 he meets American poet Robert Frost and everything changes. As their friendship blossoms Edward writes, emerging from his cocoon of self-doubt into one of the most influential poets of the twentieth century.
On the verge of success he makes the drastic decision to enlist, confounding his friends and family. The Dark Earth and the Light Sky delves into the life of this enigmatic and complex character in an era of change and destruction.
Not bad, is it? I gather there is a certain amount of trepidation around from Edward Thomas afficionados as to how it will be done, but I'm impressed that it is being done anyway.
The Contented Poem
Naught moves but clouds, and in the glassy lake
Their doubles and the shadow of my boat.
The boat itself stirs only when I break
This drowse of heat and solitude afloat
To prove if what I see be bird or mote,
Or learn if yet the shore woods be awake.
Long hours since dawn grew, - spread, - and passed on high
And deep below, - I have watched the cool reeds hung
Over images more cool in imaged sky:
Nothing there was worth thinking of for long;
All that the ring-doves say, far leaves among,
Brims my mind with content thus still to lie.
The next blog will return to the publishing theme after this excursion in Oxford and on the water, looking at the fact-into-fiction question.