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Featured Poem: ‘The Word’ by Edward Thomas

Written by jen, 31st August 2009

It's a bank holiday (in England and Wales) today, so although technically, we're 'off-air', when's a better time to sit and appreciate a good poem? So today, I thought I'd choose a poem that will, I hope, make you stop to consider what you've got around at this moment and think, as you go about your daily life, what special forces surround you at every moment. Enjoy your day (whether it's a holiday or not).

The Word

There are so many things I have forgot,

That once were much to me, or that were not,

All lost, as is a childless woman's child

And its child's children, in the undefiled

Abyss of what can never be again.

I have forgot, too, names of the mighty men

That fought and lost or won in the old wars,

Of kings and fiends and gods, and most of the stars.

Some things I have forgot that I forget.

But lesser things there are, remembered yet,

Than all the others. One name that I have not --

Though 'tis an empty thingless name -- forgot

Never can die because Spring after Spring

Some thrushes learn to say it as they sing.

There is always one at midday saying it clear

And tart -- the name, only the name I hear.

While perhaps I am thinking of the elder scent

That is like food, or while I am content

With the wild rose scent that is like memory,

This name suddenly is cried out to me

From somewhere in the bushes by a bird

Over and over again, a pure thrush word.

Edward Thomas (1878-1917)

If you want to read more Edward Thomas, click on the links to previous blog posts below:

Recommended Reads: The Poetry of Edward Thomas

‘Time swims before me’

Featured Poem: 'Adlestrop' by Edward Thomas

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