Poems of Dylan Thomas

ISBN-10: 0811215415

ISBN-13: 9780811215411

Edition: 2003 (Revised)

List price: $34.95
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Book details

List price: $34.95
Copyright year: 2003
Publisher: New Directions Publishing Corporation
Publication date: 4/17/2003
Binding: Mixed Media
Pages: 352
Size: 6.50" wide x 9.50" long x 1.25" tall
Weight: 1.628
Language: English

The most important Welsh poet of the twentieth century, Thomas was born in Swansea, about which he remembered unkindly "the smug darkness of a provincial town." He attended Swansea Grammar School but received his real education in the extensive library of his father, a disappointed schoolteacher with higher ambitions. Refusing university study in favor of immediately becoming a professional writer, Thomas worked first in Swansea and then in London at a variety of literary jobs, which included journalism and, eventually, filmscripts and radio plays. In 1936 he began the satisfying but stormy marriage to the bohemian writer and dancer Caitlin MacNamara that would endure for the rest of his career. His life fell into a pattern of oscillation between work and dissipation in London and recovery and relaxation in a rural retreat, usually in Wales. Thomas worked in a documentary film unit during the war. Besides his poetry, he wrote plays and fiction. In the early 1950s, he gave three celebrated poetry-reading tours of the United States, during which his outrageous behavior vied with his superb reading ability for public attention. Aggravated by chronic alcoholism, his health collapsed during the last tour, and he died in a New York City hospital. In his poetry, Thomas embraced an exuberant romanticism in the encounter between self and world and a joyous riot in the lushness of language. His work falls into three periods---an early "womb-tomb" phase during which he produced a notebook, which he later mined for further poems, a middle one troubled by marriage and war, and a final acceptance of the human condition. The exuberant rhetoric of his work belies an equally strong devotion to artistry, what he once called "my craft or sullen art." His great "Fern Hill," for example, builds its imagery of the rejoicing innocence of childhood on a strict and demanding syllabic count. A recollection of boyhood holidays on the farm of his aunt and uncle, that poem places its emotion within an Edenic framework typical of Thomas's work. The impressive sonnet sequence "Altarwise by Owl-Light" (1936) combines the internal quest of romanticism with a more elaborate religious outlook in tracing the birth and spiritual autobiography of a poet. Almost at the end of his career he produced the moving elegy "Do Not Go Gentle into That Good Night" (1952), written during the final illness of his father. Despite his periods of doubt and dissipation, Thomas celebrated the fullness of life. As he wrote in a note to his Collected Poems (1952), "These poems, with all their crudities, doubts, and confusion, are written for the love of Man and in praise of God, and I'd be a damn fool if they weren't."

I know this vicious minute's hour
Cool, oh no cool
The air you breathe
Sometimes the sky's too bright
Rain cuts the place we tread
The morning, space for Leda
The spire cranes
Time enough to rot
It's not in misery but in oblivion
The natural day and night
Conceive these images in air
The neophyte, baptized in smiles
To be encompassed by the brilliant earth
Although through my bewildered way
High on a hill
Since, on a quiet night
They are the only dead who did not love
Little Problem
When you have ground such beauty down to dust
There's plenty in the world
Written for a Personal Epitaph
Never to reach the oblivious dark
Children of darkness got no wings
Too long, skeleton
Nearly summer
Youth Calls to Age
Being but men
Out of the sighs
Upon your held-out hand
Walking in gardens
Now the thirst parches lip and tongue
Lift up your face
Let it be known
The midnight road
With windmills turning wrong directions
The gossipers
Before the gas fades
Was there a time
'We who are young are old'
Out of a war of wits
Their faces shone under some radiance
I have longed to move away
To follow the fox
The ploughman's gone
Poet: 1935
Light, I know, treads the ten million stars
And death shall have no dominion
Out of the Pit
We lying by seasand
No man believes
Why east wind chills
Greek Play in a Garden
Praise to the architects
Here in this spring
We have the fairy tales by heart
'Find meat on bones'
Ears in the turrets hear
The Woman Speaks
Shall gods be said to thump the clouds
The hand that signed the paper
Let for one moment a faith statement
You are the ruler of this realm of flesh
Before I knocked
We see rise the secret wind
Take the needles and the knives
Not forever shall the Lord of the red hail
Before we mothernaked fall
The sun burns the morning
My hero bares his nerves
Through these lashed rings
The force that through the green fuse drives the flower
From love's first fever to her plague
The almanac of time
All that I owe the fellows of the grave
Here lie the beasts
Light breaks where no sun shines
A Letter to My Aunt Discussing the Correct Approach to Modern Poetry
See, says the lime
This bread I break
Your pain shall be a music
A process in the weather of the heart
Our eunuch dreams
Where once the waters of your face
I see the boys of summer
In the beginning
If I were tickled by the rub of love
When once the twilight locks on longer
Especially when the October wind
When, like a running grave
I fellowed sleep
I dreamed my genesis
My World is Pyramid
All all and all the dry worlds lever
Grief thief of time
I, in my intricate image
Do you not father me
How soon the servant sun
A grief ago
Should lanterns shine
Altarwise by owl-light
Incarnate devil
Hold hard, these ancient minutes in the cuckoo's month
Foster the light
Today, this insect
The seed-at-zero
Then was my neophyte
It is the sinners' dust-tongued bell
I make this in a warring absence
O make me a mask
Not from this anger
How shall my animal
After the funeral
O Chatterton
When all my five and country senses see
The tombstone told when she died
On no work of words
I, the first named
A saint about to fall
Twenty-four years
The Molls
Once it was the colour of saying
Because the pleasure-bird whistles
'If my head hurt a hair's foot'
To Others than You
Unluckily for a death
Paper and sticks
When I woke
Once below a time
There was a saviour
The Countryman's Return
Into her lying down head
Request to Leda
Deaths and Entrances
On a Wedding Anniversary
Ballad of the Long-legged Bait
Love in the Asylum
On the Marriage of a Virgin
The hunchback in the park
Among those Killed in the Dawn Raid was a Man Aged a Hundred
Ceremony after a Fire Raid
Last night I dived my beggar arm
Poem in October
New Quay
Vision and Prayer
Holy Spring
A Winter's Tale
A Refusal to Mourn the Death, by Fire, of a Child in London
This side of the truth
The conversation of prayers
Lie still, sleep becalmed
Fern Hill
In my craft or sullen art
In Country Sleep
Over Sir John's hill
In the White Giant's Thigh
Do not go gentle into that good night
Poem on His Birthday
Unfinished Poems
In Country Heaven
Early Poems
The Song of the Mischievous Dog
Forest Picture
In Dreams
Idyll of Unforgetfulness
Of Any Flower
Clown in the Moon
To a Slender Wind
The Elm
The Oak
The Pine
To the Spring-Spirit
You shall not despair
My river
We will be conscious of our sanctity
I have come to catch your voice
When your furious motion
No thought can trouble my unwholesome pose
No, pigeon, I'm too wise
Woman on Tapestry
Pillar breaks
It's light that makes the intervals
Let me escape
The rod can lift its twining head
Admit the sun
A Note on Verse-Patterns
Notes on the Poems
A Chronology
A Note on this Revised Edition
Index of Titles and First Lines
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