Professor Charlotte Hodes’ collaboration with poet Professor Deryn Rees-Jones (Department of English, University of Liverpool) at the Ledbury Poetry Festival
Helen Thomas (1877-1967), wife of the poet Edward Thomas, arrived for a holiday in Ledbury at midnight on the 28th July, 1914, the day that war with Germany had been declared. For the remainder of the summer the Thomas family, and the family of the American poet Robert Frost, lived nearby in houses across the fields from each other. Thomas and Frost walked the surrounding Malvern Hills and countryside, and it was during this time that Thomas worked out his vision for poetry.
Edward Thomas’s poem ‘And You, Helen’ (written a year to the day before he died in March 1917) was a starting point for Deryn Rees-Jones’ poetic reimagining of Helen.
Charlotte Hodes in turn responded to Deryn Rees-Jones’ twelve part poem ‘ And You, Helen’ in a sequence of papercuts and an animation made with recent CSM MA graduate, Kristina Pulejkova.
The Ledbury Poetry Festival commissioned two performances which took place 4 and 5 June 2014. The poem was read by actress, Juliet Stevenson.
The book And you, Helen which includes the poem, a long reflective essay on Helen and Edward Thomas by Deryn Rees-Jones and papercuts by Charlotte Hodes is pubished by Seren 2014