This To Do

Thomas, R. S. (Ronald Stuart)

Primary Category: Literature / Poetry

Genre: Poem

Annotated by:
Coulehan, Jack
  • Date of entry: Jul-05-1999


I have this that I must do / One day." I must take the last step, go down into the "green darkness," and find the "door to myself." There is no map, no assurance, and no way of avoiding the final plunge into darkness.


This is a short poem that consists of fewer words than this annotation contains. So why single it out from the thousands of other short poems that deal with death? Because of the simplicity, clarity, and wisdom with which R. S. Thomas expresses his vision. "I must go down with the poor / Purse of my body and buy courage, / Paying for it with the coins of my breath." [14 lines]

Primary Source

Collected Poems: 1945-1990


Orion/Phoenix Giant

Place Published