The poem tells us about Thomas’ wish for a better world. At the time the poem was written, the world was at war. Unlike many of the poems, this one is inspired by worldly events – to be precise World War I. Thomas often wrote about nature and the rural life.
This poem contains suggestive rhyme (would – should) and is an elegiac stanza. This is a type of poem that is melancholic or mournful. It’s about what would have been and had should have been. It wasn’t though. What if there wouldn’t be a war? There shouldn’t have been a war!
Thomas chose the title carefully. Easter is a Christian celebration. It celebrates the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. It is also a moment when Christians take the time to think about the sacrifices that have been made. For Thomas, this was a moment to think about those who sacrificed their lives in a war that had come to a standstill. We all know the history of the trench warfare during World War I.
It is most certainly not the longest poem written by Thomas. It is a powerful protest against World War I and war in general.
In Memoriam (Easter, 1915)
The flowers left thick at nightfall in the wood
This Eastertide call into mind the men,
Now far from home, who, with their sweethearts, should
Have gathered them and will do never again.
— Edward Thomas
Inspired by war?
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