Ronald Stuart Thomas, born in Cardiff, on the 29th of March 1913-2000, He was a well known poet and a clergyman for the Church of England. Thomas’s ministry took him to a number rural parishes in north Wales, the bleak beauty of the landscape and the hard lives of the peasant farmers became the main themes of his poems.
By analysing these aspects of Thomas’s poetry this essay will examine how he makes the Welsh countryside and its inhabitants vivid to the reader. Thomas's poem “The Hill Farmer Speaks” demonstrates inextricable link between the Welsh hill farmer, nature, his land and his animals. The hill farmer holds a special bond with his animals for which he cares 'year after year'. The hill farmer is used by Thomas as a
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The farmer is toiling away beneath a ‘lone star’ this emphasises the theme of loneliness. Thomas writes, he never looks up suggesting that the Welsh hill farming is all that is important to him. Thomas also writes that the man works ‘slowly’ this tends to suggest the age of this man It also suggests the length of time the hill farmers work. The use of sibilance in line four ‘slowly astride the rows’ reflects the scythe as he ‘mechanically’ ‘works slowly astride the rows’. The lack of punctuation in the first stanza represents the rhythm of ‘his cold blade’. Everything beyond his aggurcultural life doesn’t matter to him as Thomas writes ‘the hedge defines the mind’s limits;’ this is mired in another of Thomas’s poem “Lore” as Thomas writes ‘Live large, man, and dream small.’ The reader is uninformed that the Welsh hill country has been part off the ancestry for a long time. Even the subject’s feet seem mottled in the soil ‘and his bones are formed out of It’. This shows the connection with nature as we have previously discovered in Thomas’s poem “Farm Child”. The ‘soil is all’ to the farmer as it has gives life to him and all his ancestors. The farmer takes love and care for the soil as he ‘fondles’ It, This shows that he is passionate with his work, he is proud of his heritage. As Thomas concludes the poem there is a tonal shift with the graphic image of the farmer accidentally hurting himself, but the pain seems relevant. Thomas’s