Why was Welsh nationalist poet RS Thomas so critical of the Welsh people?
Welsh poet R.S. Thomas was an ardent Welsh nationalist and advocate for independence. Although a native English speaker he learned and conversed in Welsh, although he never felt fluent enough to use it for his poetry. Yet in spite of his nationalist beliefs, his poems often painted bleak and highly critical pictures of Welsh people. Consider, from "On the Farm": >There was Dai Puw. He was no good. >They put him in the fields to dock swedes, >And took the knife from him, when he came home >At late evening with a grin >Like the slash of a knife on his face. >There was Llew Puw, and he was no good. >Every evening after the ploughing >With the big tractor he would sit in his chair, >And stare into the tangled fire garden, >Opening his slow lips like a snail. Or from "A Peasant": >So are his days spent, his spittled mirth >Rarer than the sun that cracks the cheeks >Of the gaunt sky perphaps once a week. >And then at night see him fixed in his chair >Motionless, except when he leans to gob in the fire. >There is something frightening in the vacancy of his mind. Or from "A Welsh Landscape": >An impotent people >Sick with inbreeding >Worrying the carcase of an old song How did Thomas reconcile his nationalistic sentiments with these extremely dim views of the Welsh people?