The Word

Original Text: 
Edward Thomas, Collected Poems, with a Foreword by Walter de la Mare (London: Selwyn and Blount, 1920): 156. PR 6039 H55A17 1920 Robarts Library.
1There are so many things I have forgot,
2That once were much to me, or that were not,
3All lost, as is a childless woman's child
4And its child's children, in the undefiled
5Abyss of what can never be again.
6I have forgot, too, names of the mighty men
7That fought and lost or won in the old wars,
8Of kings and fiends and gods, and most of the stars.
9Some things I have forgot that I forget.
10But lesser things there are, remembered yet,
11Than all the others. One name that I have not --
12Though 'tis an empty thingless name -- forgot
13Never can die because Spring after Spring
14Some thrushes learn to say it as they sing.
15There is always one at midday saying it clear
16And tart -- the name, only the name I hear.
17While perhaps I am thinking of the elder scent
18That is like food, or while I am content
19With the wild rose scent that is like memory,
20This name suddenly is cried out to me
21From somewhere in the bushes by a bird
22Over and over again, a pure thrush word.
Publication Start Year: 
1917
Publication Notes: 
An Annual of New Poetry (Constable, 1917)
RPO poem Editors: 
Ian Lancashire
RPO Edition: 
RPO 1999.
Form: