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Welsh Landscape Analysis



Author: poem of R.S. Thomas Type: poem Views: 9

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To live in Wales is to be conscious
At dusk of the spilled blood
That went into the making of the wild sky,
Dyeing the immaculate rivers
In all their courses.
It is to be aware,
Above the noisy tractor
And hum of the machine
Of strife in the strung woods,
Vibrant with sped arrows.
You cannot live in the present,
At least not in Wales.
There is the language for instance,
The soft consonants
Strange to the ear.
There are cries in the dark at night
As owls answer the moon,
And thick ambush of shadows,
Hushed at the fields' corners.
There is no present in Wales,
And no future;
There is only the past,
Brittle with relics,
Wind-bitten towers and castles
With sham ghosts;
Mouldering quarries and mines;
And an impotent people,
Sick with inbreeding,
Worrying the carcase of an old song. To live in Wales is to be conscious
At dusk of the spilled blood
That went into the making of the wild sky,
Dyeing the immaculate rivers
In all their courses.
It is to be aware,
Above the noisy tractor
And hum of the machine
Of strife in the strung woods,
Vibrant with sped arrows.
You cannot live in the present,
At least not in Wales.
There is the language for instance,
The soft consonants
Strange to the ear.
There are cries in the dark at night
As owls answer the moon,
And thick ambush of shadows,
Hushed at the fields' corners.
There is no present in Wales,
And no future;
There is only the past,
Brittle with relics,
Wind-bitten towers and castles
With sham ghosts;
Mouldering quarries and mines;
And an impotent people,
Sick with inbreeding,
Worrying the carcase of an old song.


Submitted by Andrew Mayers

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||| Analysis | Critique | Overview Below |||




.: :.

The final lines, "an impotent people, sick with inbreeding" "impotent" expresses the powerlessness of the welsh to re-gain Wales and it's dying culture. while the latter part expresses the view that through resisting anything foreign and attempting to preserve the welsh culture the people and the land has become sick. Stay with me here. Take the semantic field of decrepitude, "brittle", "wind-bitten" "mouldering" Wales is slowly crumbling away because it's people are "worrying the carcase of an old song" welsh nationalism. To the poet it is a long dead cause, but also a beautiful one "old song"

| Posted on 2016-04-19 | by a guest


.: :.

"Dyeing the immaculate rivers."
The tainted river represents their tainted lives, damaged so much by their pre-occupation with the past

| Posted on 2015-03-17 | by a guest


.: :.

‘spilled’ is an onomatopoeia and it\'s use really emphasises the fullness of life, within Wales, which has been spilledout onto the landscape, staining it with blood, from the murder of Welshmen.

| Posted on 2013-01-17 | by a guest


.: :.

In this poem Thomas bemoans the Anglicisation of Wales and laments the loss of Welsh culture. The title of the poem would suggest that we will be presented with a beautiful bucolic image of the the Welsh hills, yet the poem opens with the image of \'spilled blood... dyeing the immaculate rivers\'; this immediately creates an uneasy tone. With the contextual knowledge of Thomas\'s hatred for English land-owners buying Welsh farms, we can see that this line is a metaphor for the infiltration of the English people into Wales. The river has become like the blood-stream of Wales so in this respect, the country has been irreversibly poisoned. Furthermore, the use of the word \'dyeing\' and the \'spilled blood\' can now be read as a reference to the deaths and violence that occurred in protest against this Anglicisation.
A typical pastoral idyll would be expected to be tranquil yet the picture painted by Thomas is far from this. The \'noisy tractors\' and \'hum of the machine\' seem rather discordant with the \'Welsh landscape\' so the poet here bemoans the increased use of mechanised farming techniques. The poet believes the Welsh have a duty to be aware of and remember their heritage \'above\' all of these intrusions. For him, the traditional Wales has gone (\'There is no present/ at least not in Wales\').

| Posted on 2012-06-15 | by Liz500


.: :.

does anybody have any idea why r.s thomas wrote the quote \' spilled blood \' rather than dripped or trickled ?

| Posted on 2010-11-08 | by a guest




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