The poet Edward Thomas might have been astonished by the degree and durability of his influence on poets of subsequent generations. A soldier-poet who died in action on the Western Front in 1917, he was always likely to share the near-mythical status of other English war poets. But Thomas knew that the expression of patriotism alone was no guarantee of a poetry which would be worth reading. In 1914, with the country in the grip of war fever, he wrote that very little patriotic poetry was destined to last. The work of real poets “might improve as the war advances perhaps after it is all over, as they understand it and themselves more completely” (Longley 1981, 131-35). Thomas's own work was to display wisdom and self-knowledge of an unusual kind.

Thomas was born in 1878 in London, the

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Citation: Early, Patrick. "Edward Thomas". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 17 November 2007 [, accessed 05 March 2024.]

4372 Edward Thomas 1 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

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