Sunday, 8 March 2009

Dymock Poets and Friends

The latest issue of Dymock Poets and Friends, the journal of the Friends of the Dymock Poets, has just appeared. It has my essay on Frost and Thomas; Adrian Barlow on John Drinkwater; Richard Harries on Thomas and religion; Matthew Hollis on Thomas and 'the road to war'; and Kelsey Thornton on Gurney, Thomas and walking.

So, quite a lot of Thomas; and that emphasis is borne out by the checklist at the back of the issue which collects together all the books and articles published on any of the six Dymock poets during 2008. Thomas has thirteen items listed, Frost six, Brooke two, Gibson and Abercrombie one, and Drinkwater none at all. Thomas's reputation has never been higher. Matthew Hollis has chosen the right time to publish a biography (due from Faber next year). I might as well confess that, much as I believe Thomas to be a terrific poet at his best, I would choose Frost every time. Thankfully, I don't have to choose.

The Friends of the Dymock Poets deserves support for all its excellent work. Its regular meetings (of which the next is on 28 March) give members a chance to hear interesting talks in a friendly atmosphere. 5 miles south of Ledbury, and a dozen miles from the Malverns, Dymock is set amidst some of the finest scenery in England. I never need very much of an excuse to visit the area.

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