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No One So Much As You -- Edward Thomas

Guest poem submitted by Nitesh Dixit:
(Poem #1174) No One So Much As You
No one so much as you
Loves this my clay,
Or would lament as you
Its dying day.

You know me through and through
Though I have not told,
And though with what you know
You are not bold.

None ever was so fair
As I thought you:
Not a word can I bear
Spoken against you.

All that I ever did
For you seemed coarse
Compared with what I hid
Nor put in force.

My eyes scarce dare meet you
Lest they should prove
I but respond to you
And do not love.

We look and understand,
We cannot speak
Except in trifles and
Words the most weak.

For I at most accept
Your love, regretting
That is all: I have kept
Only a fretting

That I could not return
All that you gave
And could not ever burn
With the love you have,

Till sometimes it did seem
Better it were
Never to see you more
Than linger here

With only gratitude
Instead of love -
A pine in solitude
Cradling a dove.
-- Edward Thomas
I came across this poem while going through a battered book, an anthology of
English poems from the mid-20th century, and just fell for it. I like this
poem for the simple reason that it seems so honest in its presentation. How
often do we find ourselves responding to someone and not actually having
those same emotions... or so we feel to be the case. Perhaps it's the  same
for both the parties, perhaps all of us are merely responding to the other
and not recognising our own emotions.


17 comments: ( or Leave a comment )

vikram doctor said...

This poem links to the Elizabeth Jennings poem, Delay.
this I think Minstrels ran long back.

BTW, did you get the Stevie Smith poem I'd sent as
part of the film series. Its worth running on its own,


Fran Maciver said...

I, too, fell in love with this poem. It is a 'gem' - a poem that contains so much tenderness and so much pain. There is, in falling in love, that element of mis-timing; you fall for him and he doesn't fall for you, you are fond of her, but she loves you. It flows with this paradoxical element in life. I love it.


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Anonymous said...

i'm afraid most of you are mistaken, this poem is in fact directed to the poet mother, not his partner (Helen).

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Anonymous said...

he claimed the poem was about his mother, yet there is much doubt about whether this is true. The emotions he describes are suspiciously reminiscent of those he is said to have felt both in letters to his wife and in her memoirs. Thomas was a mysterious guy, so overall its pretty ambiguous

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