Although he wrote fewer than 150 poems in his lifetime before being killed in World War I, Thomas's slender body of poetry has come to be seen as occupying an important position in twentieth-century British poetry. Written in a colloquial style that rejects both the flowery rhetoric of late-Victorian poetry and the self-consciousness of the Imagists, Thomas's poems are informed by a distinctly modern vision of doubt, alienation, and human limitation. Although he shares a love of nature expressed with the Georgian poets and the topic of war with poets such as Wilfred Owen and Siegfried Sassoon, Thomas's poems are known for their willingness to grapple with difficulty and uncertainty.
Analysis of individual Poems
In “March”, Thomas presents the idea that spring is the sign of hope not just to the persona of the poem, but perhaps to all the soldiers who were fighting, through the use of personification; “That it was lost, too, in the mountains.”
This personifies the spring, suggesting that it is lost as if it cannot find its way through the “mountains on mountains of snow and ice in the west.”
It could also be suggesting that the persona of the poem is lost in the harsh winter, possibly a metaphor for the war, and he cannot find his way to spring, to the end of the war.
This poem celebrates the coming of spring, but it does so by emphasizing the passing of winter
The iambic pentameter is “March” is energised by the introduction of the thrushes singing. This gives the sense of desperation and despair suggesting that if spring does not arrive with all possible haste, then the thrushes, like the soldiers, will not survive.
- But These Things Also- variety of ideas about spring, as if spring is his light at the end of the tunnel, the tunnel being the end of the war, presents thoughts of doubt, once again correlating to the time the poem was written, suggesting the war will never end. Thomas also presents the birds as a sign of hope in both “March” and “But these things also” through the use of iambs. The iambic pentameter is “March” is energised by the introduction of the thrushes singing. This gives the sense of desperation and despair suggesting that if spring does not arrive with all possible haste, then the thrushes, like the soldiers, will not survive.
The loose iambic pentameter helps create a mood of reflection in this poem.
The metre, often in the background, suggests a soliloquy or dramatic monologue, while the deviations from it suggest the ambling lethardgy of the speaker, as well as a conversational tone
The plant with strange names is remembered fondly, we feel, by one who ‘knows it well’ – the phrase suggests a familiarity and wealth of memory associations, an idea challenged later in the poem. Here, however, the gentle internal rhymes, ‘tree’, ‘rosemary’, ‘thing’, ‘clings’, suggest a conversational, fond reminiscence.…