Discuss the ways Thomas presents country life and progress in his poetry. Refer to at least 4 poems in your answer. Thomas presents country life as warm and gleeful in his poetry. In ‘The Evacuee’ he describes how a young girl grows up in the countryside and underlines the fact that she has been able to grow up in the loving atmosphere of the countryside rather than in the harshness of the city. He highlights this point when he says: ‘Home now after so long away In the flowerless streets of the drab town. ‘
The evacuee is positively warm in its description of the rural surroundings and highlights the goodness it can bring out of people, as it describes the growth of a girl who is scared and weary at first, but grows up to be loved, mature and happy. In ‘Farm Child’ the boy is held up like an exhibit in a museum: ‘Look at this boy, his head is stuffed With all the nests he knows, his pockets with Snail-shells and bits of glass, the fruit of hours Spent in the fields by thorn and thistle tuft’ He is described like this so the reader will be able to visualise what this boy is like and what influence country life has had on him.
Thomas describes the boys hair as: ‘That bush of hair That dares the wind’ This emphasises how untidy his appearance is. Thomas describes the boy as having poise, which he has gained from his country life. In this poem Thomas has emphasised that the boys country life has given him poise and has influenced him well. This poem highlights Thomas’s high opinion of the countryside. In ‘Lore’ the man is described as a survivor and as strong. When it says: ‘It needs more than the rain’s hearse, Wind-drawn to pull me off The great pearch off my laugh’
This underlines that he has been through a lot but has been strong and survived. Thomas hints that the man was influenced by the countryside when he says: ‘Mowing where the grass grew, Bearded with golden dew. Rhythm of the long scythe Kept this tall frame lithe. ‘ This verse describes that his country life has kept him active and that physical labour is good in his eyes. His country life has had a good influence on him and kept him strong. In ‘Cynddylan’ however, Thomas criticises the progress of the countryside.
He comments that Cynddylan has become part of a machine and is careless. When he says: ‘He’s a new man now’ Thomas is being ironic. There has been no improvement in Cynddylan and criticises him throughout the poem. He is critical of his driving skills and his carelessness and accuses him of frightening the natural inhabitance of the wood. I conclude than Thomas had a very high opinion of country life and believed it had a good influence on people. However, I believe he is very wary of the progress of country life and that modern day people are going to destroy it.