Edward Thomas – “Inspiration and Recollection” Seminar

“Inspiration and Recollection”

– a seminar which looks in detail at Edward Thomas’ poem ‘Rain’, considering how he reworks a previous prose passage in a new context (for AS / A2 students)

This seminar was researched and taught by Sarah James, Cambridge University.

Edward Thomas (1878 – 1917) was a writer for most of his life, writing everything from biographies to a novel, but is today best remembered for the poetry he wrote during the First World War. Thomas was killed at the Battle
of Arras on Easter Day, 1917.

To recreate this online seminar for yourself, begin by reading the poem, ‘Rain’. Read it
slowly and think about what it means. Are there parts of the poem you find
particularly interesting? Are there parts which you find very difficult to understand? How do you think
it relates to other war poetry that you have read, by poets like Wilfred Owen, for example?

When you see the instructions to read the second piece of writing, ‘Icknield Way’, do so .
This was written in 1911, long before the war. How does this make you reassess the poem ‘Rain’?

Then take a look at some of Thomas’ other poetry here. Do these change your ideas again?

Complete resource lists

‘Rain’, Edward Thomas

from Icknield Way, Edward Thomas

further poems about ‘Rain’ by Edward Thomas