How does Thomas show his feelings on language in the poem "Words," and how can I relate it to other poems that he's written. I know "The Glory" has a theme of language but I'm having trouble...

How does Thomas show his feelings on language in the poem "Words," and how can I relate it to other poems that he's written. I know "The Glory" has a theme of language but I'm having trouble linking it together.

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sciftw | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

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Edward Thomas shows his feelings toward language in the poem "Words."  It is not exactly a shock to hear a poet express that he loves words.  Throughout the poem Thomas praises the power and elasticity of words.  They can be formed and shaped into just about anything that is needed.  They can be "light as dream," or "tough as oak."  Words and language are like an old well-known friend to Thomas.  They are something that gives him comfort and contentment.

Thomas uses nature quite frequently in the poem in order to convey his thoughts and feelings about words.  He compares words with birds, and rain, and streams, and midsummer's weather, and wind, etc.  What's notable though is that nature is not always friendly.  Hurricanes, blizzards, tornadoes, etc. are all highly destructive forces, not to mention the violence that predator and prey relationships contain. But Thomas conveniently doesn't mention any of that.  He focuses on the positive aspects of nature just like he focuses on the positive power of words.

Regarding his other works, poems like "The Glory," "Rain," "The Cherry Trees," "Like the Touch of Rain," and "Beauty" all make heavy uses of nature itself.  All of them are very positive images of nature and the beauty that is found in natural things.  Thomas doesn't focus on praising language in those poems, but instead uses the language to praise the beauty of nature. So between all of the poems listed here, it is clear that Thomas believes language is best used by highlighting the beauty of natural things. 

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