Edward Thomas Retreat

A SPECIAL ONE-OFF INFORMAL RETREAT at STEEP, HAMPSHIRE, to celebrate the poetry of Edward Thomas, and to reconnect with the season of Spring

Steep, nr Winchester, Hants;

Thursday April 6, 2017

12.45pm - 5pm; no cost

with Brian Draper and Howard Green

"Fast beat/ my heart, at the sight of the tall slope/ Of grass and yews." 

So here's the thing. Howard Green and I love to run our Spring Saunters together at Mottisfont, but we are also admirers of the poetry of one of our esteemed local writers, the major poet Edward Thomas. He's most famous for his war poetry, but we love him for the way he reconnects us to the seasons, and to nature, and the countryside.

We've enjoyed walking together in the countryside around his home(s) in Steep, Hampshire, and admiring the views from the top of the Hampshire Hangars! And we thought it would be lovely, around the 100th anniversary of his death (which happened on Easter Monday 1917, at Arras), to pause to remember his work, and to reconnect with his local countryside, and to the season of spring.

Neither of us claim to be experts in poetry or Edward Thomas. So the idea is very simply to share wisdom together as a group, to bring our favourite poems, to wander and wonder together on a 4-mile circular walk, to stop at a few of the spots where he walked and worked and was inspired, and to enjoy some soulful time together deep in the countryside.

We'll gather in Steep for 12.45 (bring a packed lunch!), but I am happy to bring a few people over by car from Winchester station - I'll pick up at 12 noon sharp.

I also hope that we'll finish in time for a swift refresher in the local pub which yielded inspiration for his Thomas' poem.

This will be an informal celebration of the poet's work and the season of spring and the beautiful countryside of Hampshire. If you would like to join Howard and I, please let me know by writing to me at briandraperuk@gmail.com - and I'll drop you a line back.

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If you'd like to whet your appetite: have a look at this short film recorded by Thomas' biographer Edward Hollis - in a conversation with the Guardian's Sarah Crown, around Steep.

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