Five Points, Vol. 14 No. 2Spring 2011
From David Kirby: “Take your time. I’m afraid if I say “patience” one more time, whoever’s reading this interview will lose patience with me. But it works.”
When Ronald Met Czeslaw
R.S. Thomas—country clergyman, fire-raising Welsh nationalist (who would not condemn arson attacks on English-owned holiday homes in Wales), religious poet—was not exactly a typical twentieth-century writer. ‘Networking’, ‘working a room’, charm offensive’—practices that betray the manipulative insincerity of our age—were as alien to him as concepts like ‘reading circuit’, ‘creative writing workshop’, and ‘poet-in-residence’. His public image was that of a poet who did not care one jot about public relations; and the photographs of the scowling, haggard, private man—a mad monk enrobed in hooded duffle coat—were no more airbrushed or retouched than the unsparing portraits of Welsh hill farmers in his poems. ‘When [the newspapers] decide you are an ogre, they find the right photograph’, he astutely commented.