R S. Thomas: Condomless Sex with the Machine | Poems

This is so true.

Doubt & Belief

RS Thomas on SexSometimes I read something in one of R. S. Thomas’s books and wonder: “Did RS really write that?” For example:

Is there a contraceptive
for the machine, that we may enjoy
intercourse with it without being overrun
by vocabulary?

When Thomas published those lines, in 1990, our internet world was a glimmer on the tech horizon. Yes, there were computers – he refers to them in several poems – but they were bulky and balky, and he never used one as far as I know.

Thomas, although he lived until 2000, could scarcely have imagined our world of email, iPhones, apps, Google, blogs, etc. Yet he coined a phrase, “being overrun by vocabulary,” that precisely encapsulates our world.

We are engaging in condomless sex with the machine – the internet world – and as a consequence are being overrun by vocabulary. E-mail words, text-message words, cell-phone words, voice-mail words. Sometimes…

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One thought on “R S. Thomas: Condomless Sex with the Machine | Poems

  1. My photo of R. S. Thomas came through beautifully, with the smile that discloses his impish side. Many thanks, and congratulations on your well done, exceptionally well done, blog,

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