R.S. Thomas (1913-2000) was an Anglican curate and rector, a Welsh nationalist, and, as it turned out, an extraordinarily fine poet. Born in Cardiff, he spent most of his life and career in Wales. In 1940, he married Mildred (Elsi) Eldridge, and they were married more than half a century until her death in 1991.
If one had considered the couple in 1940, one would have expected Elsi to be the one who would achieve fame and notice. She was an artist, trained at the Royal Academy of Art and already recognized for her work. He would not publish his first book of poems until 1946, six years later. Their relationship has prompted much speculation as to how close they really were and whether Thomas’s troubled relationship with his mother affected his marriage.
And then we have the poems, the poems he wrote to and for Elsi. They provide a deep insight into not only the Thomas marriage but, like poems have a tendency to do, into all marriages.
To continue reading, please see my post today at Tweetspeak Poetry.