Dylan Thomas

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Dylan Thomas

Dylan Marlais Thomas (October 27, 1914 – November 9, 1953) was a Welsh poet and writer.


  • The force that through the green fuse drives the flower
    Drives my green age; that blasts the roots of trees
    Is my destroyer.
    And I am dumb to tell the crooked rose
    My youth is bent by the same wintry fever.
  • The hand that signed the paper felled a city;
    Five sovereign fingers taxed the breath,
    Doubled the globe of dead and halved a country;
    These five kings did a king to death.
  • When all my five and country senses see,
    The fingers will forget green thumbs and mark
    How, through the halfmoon's vegetable eye,
    Husk of young stars and handfull zodiac,
    Love in the frost is pared and wintered by.
  • Though they go mad they shall be sane,
    Though they sink through the sea they shall rise again;
    Though lovers be lost love shall not;
    And death shall have no dominion.
  • And I saw in the turning so clearly a child's
    Forgotten mornings when he walked with his mother
    Through the parables
    Of sunlight
    And the legends of the green chapels.
  • One Christmas was so much like another, in those years around the sea-town corner now, out of all sound except the distant speaking of the voices I sometimes hear a moment before sleep, that I can never remember whether it snowed for six days and six nights when I was twelve or whether it snowed for twelve days and twelve nights when I was six.
  • It is spring, moonless night in the small town, starless and bible-black, the cobblestreets silent and the hunched, courters'-and-rabbits' wood limping invisible down to the sloeblack, slow, black, crowblack, fishingboat-bobbing sea. The houses are blind as moles (though moles see fine tonight in the snouting, velvet dingles) or blind as Captain Cat there in the muffled middle by the pump and the town clock, the shops in mourning, the Welfare Hall in widows' weeds. And all the people of the lulled and dumbfound town are sleeping now.
  • I fell in love — that is the only expression I can think of — at once, and am still at the mercy of words, though sometimes now, knowing a little of their behavior very well, I think I can influence them slightly and have even learned to beat them now and then, which they appear to enjoy.
    • Poetic Manifesto, published in the Texas Quarterly (Winter 1961)
  • You can tear a poem apart to see what makes it technically tick... You're back with the mystery of having been moved by words. The best craftsmanship always leaves holes and gaps in the works of the poem so that something that is not in the poem can creep, crawl, flash, or thunder in. The joy and function of poetry is, and was, the celebration of man, which is also the celebration of man.
    • Poetic Manifesto
Dylan Thomas statue

Fern Hill (1946)

  • Now as I was young and easy under the apple boughs
    About the lilting house and happy as the grass was green,
    The night above the dingle starry,
    Time let me hail and climb
    Golden in the heydays of his eyes.
    And honoured among wagons I was prince of the apple towns.
    • St. 1
  • In the sun that is young once only,
    Time let me play and be
    Golden in the mercy of his means.
    • St. 2
  • And the sabbath rang slowly
    In the pebbles of the holy streams.
    • St. 2
  • And honoured among foxes and pheasants by the gay house
    Under the new made clouds and happy as the heart was long,
    In the sun born over and over,
    I ran my heedless ways.
    • St. 5
  • Time held me green and dying
    Though I sang in my chains like the sea.
    • St. 6


  • A born writer is born scrofulous; his career is an accident dictated by physical or circumstantial disabilities.
  • A good poem is a contribution to reality. The world is never the same once a good poem has been added to it. A good poem helps to change the shape of the universe, helps to extend everyone's knowledge of himself and the world around him.
  • Last Words: I just had eighteen straight scotches. I think that's the record...After thirty-nine years this is all I've done.
  • An alcoholic is someone you don't like who drinks as much as you.
  • Don't be too harsh to these poems until they're typed. I always think typescript lends some sort of certainty: at least, if the things are bad then, they appear to be bad with conviction.
  • Go on thinking that you don't need to be read and you'll find that it may become quite true: no one will feel the need to read it because it is written for yourself alone; and the public won't feel any impulse to gate crash such a private party.
  • Great is the hand that holds dominion over man by a scribbled name.
  • He who seeks rest finds boredom. He who seeks work finds rest.
  • I hold a beast, an angel and a madman in me, and my enquiry is as to their working, and my problem is their subjugation and victory, downthrow and upheaval, and my effort is their self-expression.
  • I know we're not saints or virgins or lunatics; we know all the lust and lavatory jokes, and most of the dirty people; we can catch buses and count our change and cross the roads and talk real sentences. But our innocence goes awfully deep, and our discreditable secret is that we don't know anything at all, and our horrid inner secret is that we don't care that we don't.
  • It's that - the thought of the few, simple things we want and the knowledge that we're going to get them in spite of you know Who and His spites and tempers - that keeps us living I think.
  • My education was the liberty I had to read indiscriminately and all the time, with my eyes hanging out.
  • Never be lucid, never state, if you would be regarded great.
  • Somebody's boring me. I think it's me.
  • The function of posterity is to look after itself.
  • There is only one position for an artist anywhere; and that is upright.
  • These poems, with all their crudities, doubts, and confusions, are written for the love of Man and in praise of God, and I'd be a damn' fool if they weren't.
  • Wales is the land of my fathers. And my fathers can have it.
  • Whatever talents I possess may suddenly diminish or suddenly increase. I can with ease become an ordinary fool. I may be one now. But it doesn't do to upset one's own vanity.
  • When one burns one's bridges, what a very nice fire it makes.

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