Thomas, (Philip) Edward

(1878-1917)
   Born in Lambeth, London, the son of a clerk at the Board of Trade, he was educated at St. Paul's School and graduated B.A. in modern history from Lincoln College, Oxford, in 1900. He was a journalist before World War I and began writing poetry in 1912 under the pseudonym Edward Eastaway; he devoted himself fully to poetry in 1913 after a meeting with Robert Frost, the American poet, who was then living in England. Thomas joined the Artists' Rifles in 1915 as a private, despite being a mature married man who could have avoided enlisting, and was killed in action at Arras soon after he arrived in France as an officer. Most of his poems - often about the English countryside - were published posthumously, and few are about the war. One links the countryside with the war: "In Memoriam." In his brief 15-year career he produced over two dozen books and wrote many reviews, focusing on local history and literary figures. Some of his poems: "Adlestrop," "Bird's Nests," "Haymaking," "SedgeWarblers," "The Brook," "The Cherry Tree," "The Sheiling," "Under the Woods."
   Sources: Come Hither. Walter de la Mare, ed. Knopf, 1957; Dover Publications, 1995. Dictionary of National Biography. Electronic Edition 1.1. Oxford University Press, 1997. Microsoft Encarta 2006 (DVD). Microsoft Corporation, 2006. On Wings of Song: Poems About Birds. J.D. McClatchy, ed. Alfred A. Knopf, 2000. Poetry for Pleasure: A Choice of Poetry and Verse on a Variety of Themes. Ian Parsons, ed. W.W. Norton, 1977. Splinters: A Book of Very Short Poems. Michael Harrison, ed. Oxford University Press, 1989. The Artist's Rifles, Edward Thomas (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Artists%27_Rifles). The Collected Poems of Edward Thomas. Oxford University Press, 1979. The Columbia Granger's Index to Poetry. 11th ed. The Columbia Granger's World of Poetry, Columbia University Press, 2005 (http://www.columbiagrangers.org). The Faber Book of English History in Verse. Kenneth Baker, ed. Faber and Faber, 1988. The Oxford Companion to English Literature. 6th edition. Margaret Drabble, ed. Oxford University Press, 2000.

British and Irish poets. A biographical dictionary. . 2015.

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