“It had been such a ferocious night that someone in the smoky ship-pictured bar had said he could feel his tombstone shaking even though he was not dead or, at least, was moving; but the morning shone as clear and calm as one always imagines tomorrow will shine.”
Dylan Thomas, Quite Early One Morning
One of the things that makes Dylan Thomas, in my mind, the greatest poet is his ability to weave ceaselessly between reality and romance.
In this collection, which he planned out himself before his death, makes it is easy to see why his words continue to be important and beautiful to readers.
Thomas’ ability to capture a scene, to write as if you can hear his voice (even if you never have) allows us to become charmed by his words in rather mundane situations. For instance, “A Child’s Christmas in Wales,” is the story of nostalgia – a view to Christmas through the eyes of a child who still sees the wonder in snow and recognizes this is a time to long for.
The lyrical sense of Dylan Thomas’ writings makes them come to life off the page. The author often recorded and performed live variations of his work, and they were captivating. Storytelling is an art, and Thomas had perfected that art. What is even more magical about his ability is the fact that everything was written through the lens of a poet. His stories were written as songlike to be structured in our minds as flowing, gentle works, and read to us like a nightly story to lull us into a meditative sleep.
Dylan Thomas was taken from this earth at a young age. He was only 39 when he died, and his title as a “doomed poet” was solidified in his death. Most people believe that it was because of his alcohol abuse that he passed, but in reality, the underlying medical problems that went untreated or wrongly treated by shady physicians led to a far more serious destruction of his health than his heavy drinking.
Those who knew Dylan Thomas describe him many ways, but one word seems too often to come up: robust. He brought life to the rooms he entered, and in many ways, he brought hope. His body of work is astounding for one with so few years, and it remains as a shining example of what lyrical, twentieth century, nostalgic poetry is all about.