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Edward Thomas

One of the best-known English poetss of World War I, Edward Thomas was of Welsh extraction but was born in London on March 3, 1878. Thomas was educated at St. Paul's School and Lincoln College, Oxford. He was already a seasoned writer before the outbreak of war, and had worked as a journalist before becoming a poet, with the encouragement of Robert Frost. He initially published some poetry under the name, Edward Eastaway. He also wrote a novel and some works of non-fiction.

When war broke out, Thomas joined the Artists' Rifles, despite being a mature married man who could have avoided enlisting. In fact, few of his poems deal directly with his war experiences. His poems are noted for their attention to the English countryside. He was killed in action at Arras on April 9, 1917, soon after he arrived in France.

A short poem of Thomas' serves as an example of how he blends war and countryside throughout his poetry:

 In Memoriam
The flowers left thick at nightfall in the wood
This Eastertide call into mind the men,
Now far from home, who, with their sweethearts, should
Have gathered them and will do never again.


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