by Richard Thomas
Richard Thomas’s debut poetry collection embraces the magical and the mundane, the exotic and the everyday, the surreal rooted in reality.
Grand poetic themes of love, death and great lives are cut with surprising twists and playful use of language, shape, form and imagery. The poet seeks ‘an array of wonder’ in “Dig” and spreads his ‘riches’ throughout The Strangest Thankyou.
Paperback; 96pp; 203×127 mm; 978-0-9568921-5-7; November 2012; Cultured Llama; £10.00
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He has long been one to watch, and with this strong, diverse collection Richard Thomas is now one to read. And re-read.
Matt Harvey, host of Radio 4’s Wondermentalist Cabaret,
author of The Hole in the Sum of my Parts and Where Earwigs Dare
The poems of Richard Thomas are dynamic and innovative… There’s an intellect here which is happy to work with all kinds of emotions, and to explore the world he finds himself in through both the real and the surreal. His poems work on the page and in performance, not an easy thing to achieve. In Richard Thomas’s case, it’s often through an innate lightness of touch.
Simon Williams, author of Quirks
Richard Thomas is a real poet. His language is freshly squeezed from the poetry tube, rich in imagery, linguistically inventive, with veins of surrealism, romanticism (romanticism is not dead!) and compassion running through it. And yet it is conversational in tone, and there is humour in it.
This is a young man’s poetry, exploratory, questioning, concerned with the truth even when apparently far off on a piece of fantasy. He knows where he is going. But he understands that what is important in poetry, and life, is not where you are going, but where you are.
author of Forgeries
Richard Thomas loves language, his work is passionate and occasionally unsettling. He writes poetry with a sense of surrealist theatre, poems that are full of surprises. His writing offers unusual stories, visionary explorations and humour, told with steady confidence.
author of Taking Flight
Richard Thomas is an innovative poet and also a traditional one, not afraid of Latin prefaces but also capable of a rich colloquialism, a poet who employs a dense metaphoric language alongside a lyrical voice that takes the reader into new territory. In ‘Flamingo’ he strings together an almost Elizabethan richness of similes – ‘tall social armpit sleeper’ – that will delight the traditionalist; in ‘The Colours of the Cat’ he talks to his subject like an old friend: ‘You clever old mousetrap of mystery’. He’s innovative and experimental, bold and witty, a modern poet who carries his learning lightly and often spins it rhythmically around his head with the excitement of a genuine myth-maker: ‘I may find beauty and could sell my land, / move to the sea with five rings on each hand.’ A poet to watch and enjoy.
author of Missing the Boat, Grownup War and Skinning the Bull
Somewhere in our broad poetry heritage Richard Thomas has tuned into a particular resonance of cool, and his poems arise from that. They echo more of the Beat influences – the immediacy of Snyder or Ginsberg than of any obvious British influence other than familiar engagements with places or forces in nature. Much of his use of language, punctuation, rhythmic structure, and consequent breath and flow, creates impressionistic, abstract places to look into.
And amidst these forms there is also a sensitive emotional intelligence, the sense of a mature man emerging through the wondrous and sometimes naïve perspective of youth, nurtured by, and amidst, and because of connections to the nature of nature itself.
These lines from ‘Nature’ sum up this phenomenon up beautifully:
and sunshine theories in my burning ears. Ah, gentle
nature, how I long to be a part of you, take your oath
and make a grand old oak.
author of The Beckoning Wild
Richard Thomas is a poet from Plymouth, UK, with a diploma in Creative Writing, poems published in journals and anthologies internationally and a poem shortlisted for the National Poetry Competition 2011.
Richard is the editor of Symmetry Pebbles, a poetry e-zine – www.symmetrypebbles.com.
This is his first collection of poems.