Tuesday 20 May 2014

Dylan Thomas's Collected Poems (New Directions, 1971), first selection

Some favourite passages as I reread the Collected Poems in preparation for my workshop and reading at the Dylan Thomas Centre in late June....

At poor peace I sing
To you strangers (though song
Is a burning and crested act,


O my ruffled ring dove
In the hooting, nearly dark
With Welsh and reverent rook,


(A clash of anvils for my
Hubbub and fiddle, this tune
On a tongued puffball)

from "Author's Prologue"

O see the pulse of summer in the ice.


Here break a kiss in no love's quarry.

from "I See the Boys of Summer"

A process in the weather of the heart
Turns damp to dry; the golden shot
Storms in the freezing tomb.


...and the womb
Drives in a death as life leaks out.

A darkness in the weather of the eye
Is half its light; the fathomed sea
Breaks on unangled land. 

from "A Process in the Weather of the Heart"

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 a weather's wind 
How time has ticked a heaven round the stars.

And I am dumb to tell the lover's tomb
How at my sheet goes the same crooked worm.

opening and closing lines of "The Force That Through 
the Green Fuse Drives the Flower"

And what's the rub? Death's feather on the nerve?
Your mouth, my love, the thistle in the kiss?

from "If I Were Tickled by the Rub of Love"

By the sea's side hear the dark-vowelled birds.

last line of "Especially When the October Wind"

Joy is the knock of dust....

from "When, Like a Running Grave"

I with the wooden insect in the tree of nettles,
In the glass bed of grapes with snail and flower,
Hearing the weather fall.


Love like a mist or fire through the bed of eels.


I, in a wind on fire,....

from "I, in My Intricate Image"

...dusk is crowded with the children's ghosts....

from "Why East Wind Chills"

The ball I threw while playing in the park
Has not yet reached the ground.

last stanza of "Should Lanterns Shine"

Over the past table I repeat this present grace.

last line of "Because the Pleasure-Bird Whistles"

At the time of posting, Dylan Thomas's Collected Poems is available for a mere £7.49 from Foyle's Books--just click this link.

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