Wednesday 4 June 2014

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

More splendid passages from Dylan Thomas's Collected Poems:

Bread and milk mansion in a toothless town.


I make a weapon of an ass's skeleton
And walk the warring sands by the dead town,
Cudgel great air, wreck east, and topple sundown....


Like an approaching wave I sprawl to ruin.

from "I Make This in a Warring Absence"

If my bunched, monkey coming is cruel
Rage me back to the making house. 

from "'If My Head Hurt a Hair's Foot'"

...the still hour
Is come of the sea tumbling in harness


After the first death, there is no other.

from "A Refusal to Mourn the Death, 
by Fire, of a Child in London"

I rose
In rainy autumn
And walked abroad in a shower of all my days.


It was my thirtieth
Year to heaven stood there then in the summer noon
Though the town below lay leaved with October blood.

from "Poem in October"

Unluckily for a death 
Waiting with the phoenix under
The pyre yet to be lighted of my sins and days....

opening lines of "Unluckily for a Death"

The colossal intimacies of silent
           Once seen strangers or shades on a stair

from "Into Her Lying Down Head"

Though wise men at their end know dark is right,
Because their words had forked no lightning they
Do not go gentle into that good night.

from "Do Not Go Gentle into that Good Night"

And his nameless need bound him burning and lost


                                     ...the long gone glistening
Parish of snow.


In that far ago land the door of his death glided wide,

                        And the bird descended.

from "A Winter's Tale"

Silence, silence to do, when earth grew loud,
In lairs and asylums of the tremendous shout.


Exiled in us we arouse the soft,
Unclenched, armless, silk and rough love that breaks all rocks.

from "There Was a Saviour"

(Imagine all of "In My Craft or Sullen Art" here. I want to memorize it.)

With singing
Darkness kindled back into beginning
When the caught tongue nodded blind,
A star was broken
Into the centuries of the child
Myselves grieve now, and miracles cannot atone.


And the dust shall sing like a bird
As the grains blow, as your death grows, through our heart.


Love is the last light spoken.

from "Ceremony after a Fire Raid"

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