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Ekphrasis, via negativa, grudgingly relinquished misogyny, relations with his wife, the influence of Robinson Jeffers, and resemblances with Jorge Luis Borges. The six essays in this special issue devoted to the work of R. S. Thomas provide just so many snapshots of--an introduction, if you will, to--a poet whose critical reputation has only continued to grow since his death in 2000.

This special issue owes its existence to a serendipitous meeting with guest editor, William V. Davis and Daven Kari, two scholarly readers of Thomas's work, at a Christianity and Literature conference at Pepperdine University in March of 2005. Professor Kari's presentation, on R. S. Thomas and Denise Levertov, suggested the appropriateness of Thomas's work for Renascence. Author of a book and numerous articles--as well as an edited volume--on Thomas and his work, Professor Davis agreed to gather contributors and to guest edit the issue.

It can be argued that the poetry of R. S. Thomas is an acquired taste. One is tempted to compare the poetry to the wilderness of Wales, the country that was Thomas's home, and often subject of his verse. From poems about nature to poems about God, Thomas's work has a sparse majesty about it that one learns to value. His reflections on the distance and the silence of God are a challenge to anyone who takes religious poetry seriously.

Dr. Ed Block, Jr., Editor
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Author:Block, Ed, Jr.
Publication:Renascence: Essays on Values in Literature
Article Type:Editorial
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Jan 1, 2008
Words:230
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