Philip Edward Thomas was born in London in 1878, the oldest of Welsh parents. Born with talent, young Thomas produced essays on rural topics that were featured in weekly papers. He was educated at Lincoln College, Oxford. While at Oxford, he met his wife, Helen Noble, and his son Merfyn, was born before he graduated. After graduating, he became a literary critic, as well as a poet, editor, and writer. Thomas and his wife also had two more children, daughters Bronwen and Myfanwy. Although he was chronically depressed, he accomplished an incredible amount of work, and was the first to recognize up and coming new poets, such as Ezra Pound and Robert Frost. In 1914, he was first introduced to Robert Frost, who encouraged him to try and write poetry as well. Thomas joined the Artist’s Rifle in 1915, during the first world war. Thomas’ unit moved forward to Flanders, but in on April 9, 1917, Thomas was killed by a shell that exploded near him on the first day of the Battle of Arras. During his life, he had gone by the pen name of Edward Eastaway, and had six poems published under that name. Aside from those six, none of his other poems had been published prior to his death. He is buried in Agny Military Cemetery in France.
The Cherry Trees
If I Should Ever by Chance
1. “Edward Thomas.” Poets’ Graves. 2006. 6 Dec. 2007 <http://www.poetsgraves.co.uk/thomas_e.htm>.
2. “Edward Thomas (Poet).” Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia. 6 Dec. 2007 <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edward_Thomas_%28poet%29>.
3. “Phillip Edward Thomas.”World War Pictures, Posters, Photos, Poets, and Artists. 2007. ArtGraphica. 6 Dec. 2007 <http://www.world-war-pictures.com/edward-thomas-war-poet.htm>.
4. Thomas, Edward. “Edward Thomas.” The Norton Anthology of English Literature Eighth Edition. Ed. Greenblatt Stephen and M.H. Abrams. New York: W&W Norton & Company, 2006. 1956-1959