Alun Lewis

Welsh poet Alun Lewis was a pacifist by nature, but events in Europe convinced him to enlist. He was troubled by his status as a soldier, and what it meant in terms of his character. His poems are sensitive and lyrical, dealing with loneliness, alienation, love and death. He was strongly influenced by First World War poet Edward Thomas, whom he invokes in his poem ‘All Day It Has Rained’, remembering happier days walking “where Edward Thomas brooded long/ On death and beauty – till a bullet stopped his song”. In a sad piece of irony, the same lines may also apply to Lewis himself: he died in mysterious circumstances in 1944, of a bullet wound.

Alun Lewis is one of the poets who young poets can respond to in our annual Timothy Corsellis Prize. Find out how you can get involved here.