Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Sobre o Grande Poeta Edward Thomas

When Thomas was killed at the Battle of Arras, on Easter Monday in 1917—as he was filling his pipe, the blast from a passing shell stopped his heart; he died with his body unblemished—his reputation as a writer rested entirely on his vast and varied work in prose. At his death, only a handful of his poems had been published, all pseudonymously. In fact, he had just started writing poetry in the winter of 1914–15, when he was 36; he wrote all of his 144 poems in the last two years of his life. (Although only one of his poems, “This Is No Case of Petty Right or Wrong,” relates directly to the war, he wrote much of his verse while in uniform, and the conflict, as the poet and critic Andrew Motion has argued, pervades his poetry. The enigmatically elegiac power of his most beloved poem, the 16-line “Adlestrop,” for instance, is surely derived from its evocation of the warm, idyllic summer on the eve of the war.) Thomas’s career as a writer sprang largely from necessity. In 1899, while still an undergraduate at Oxford, Thomas impregnated his then-fiancée. Married and a father at 22, his justifiably high academic ambitions derailed, Thomas had to jump on Grub Street’s treadmill. He could never get off. Over the next decade and a half, he would write an astonishing 20 books, edit or write the introductions to an additional dozen, and write 70 articles and 1,900 reviews (he sometimes wrote 15 reviews in a week). Ever scribbling for money, Thomas, who eventually had three children, took on far too many commissions on far too disparate subjects—he reviewed a dizzying array of titles, and his own books include a biography of the Duke of Marlborough, a novel, and studies of Keats, Lafcadio Hearn, Charles Swinburne, and Walter Pater.

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