Saturday, 31 October 2015

EVANS (poem) R. S. Thomas

Evans                                                                                                          R. S. Thomas

Ronald Stuart Thomas is a great British poet. Being a priest, he used to visit sick people in his parish and his famous poem Evans is a reminiscence of his visit to sick people in Wales region in England. Ronald Stuart Thomas is a native of South Wales in England. The sickle, the plough and the flail always appear in his poems. Life in the mountainous regions of Wales is an endless struggle because the soil is very rough. Yet the peasants in this region never yield to defeat. They go on tilling the soil till their end. This is the tragic circumstance of Evans, a typical farmer in the Wales. Evans is the name of the sick peasant. The poem begins with a conversational style. The poet-priest used to visit Evans in his house. The poet himself is the narrator and he says that he used to visit the sick peasant in his lonely cottage.  The poem is concluded with the description of the alienation of Evans not only from his fellows but also from himself. In his old age, Evans lives alone and there is no one to look after him on his deathbed. This alienation is painful. Man is basically a social being and this loneliness is like a prison life. His home compared to a lonely shore and his bed is cold and cheerless. The intellectual ignorance and the total isolations of old age are shown clearly in the last lines of the poem.

“black, cold, dark and bleak” are the sharp words the poet has used to express the extreme poverty, pain and loneliness of the farmer Evans. The priest visited the farm house of Evans on several occasions and found that the kitchen is very old where firewood is used for fire. Crickets sing there with the sound of the water boiling in the kettle. The farm has been lying uncultivated ever since Evans fell sick. There is only one tree in the farm and it is spoiled by bad weather. The drip of rain seemed like blood which shows the tragic life of the poor farmer Evans. The poet find the dark in the kitchen tolerable but the darkness in the bed of the Evans is shocking to the poet. This darkness seems to block the life-blood of Evans and finally leads him to death. Evans is spiritually ignorant. But he is closer to God than anyone else, for Evans does not complain and suffers his pain silently. Evans is closely attached to Nature, which alone shows that he is closer to God than any one else.
Questions
1.      The circumstances in which Evans lived – answer given
Essay: Consider “Evans” as a perfect portrait of a Welsh peasant


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