PD Smith

The gifts that destroy #2

28 September 2008 | atomic bomb, RS Thomas, Science & literature, Wells | Post a comment

I've just found out that the quotation is from RS Thomas' poem The Hearth. It's beautiful, well worth reading. These are the final lines:

"...and outside

Us is time and the victims

Of time, travellers

To a new Bethlehem, statesmen

And scientists with their hands full

Of the gifts that destroy."

The last line reminds me of H. G. Wells' seminal description of the atomic bomb in The World Set Free (1914): "He had in his hands the black complement to all those other gifts science was urging upon unregenerate mankind, the gift of destruction…".

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