CreationEarth Nature Photos
Submit Poems
Get Your Premium Membership

Best Famous Dylan Thomas Poems

Here is a collection of the all-time best famous Dylan Thomas poems. This is a select list of the best famous Dylan Thomas poetry. Reading, writing, and enjoying famous Dylan Thomas poetry (as well as classical and contemporary poems) is a great past time. These top poems are the best examples of Dylan Thomas poems.

Search for the best famous Dylan Thomas poems, articles about Dylan Thomas poems, poetry blogs, or anything else Dylan Thomas poem related using the PoetrySoup search engine at the top of the page.

See also:

Written by Dylan Thomas |

Poem In October

 It was my thirtieth year to heaven
Woke to my hearing from harbour and neighbour wood
 And the mussel pooled and the heron
 Priested shore
 The morning beckon
With water praying and call of seagull and rook
And the knock of sailing boats on the net webbed wall
 Myself to set foot
 That second
 In the still sleeping town and set forth.
My birthday began with the water- Birds and the birds of the winged trees flying my name Above the farms and the white horses And I rose In rainy autumn And walked abroad in a shower of all my days.
High tide and the heron dived when I took the road Over the border And the gates Of the town closed as the town awoke.
A springful of larks in a rolling Cloud and the roadside bushes brimming with whistling Blackbirds and the sun of October Summery On the hill's shoulder, Here were fond climates and sweet singers suddenly Come in the morning where I wandered and listened To the rain wringing Wind blow cold In the wood faraway under me.
Pale rain over the dwindling harbour And over the sea wet church the size of a snail With its horns through mist and the castle Brown as owls But all the gardens Of spring and summer were blooming in the tall tales Beyond the border and under the lark full cloud.
There could I marvel My birthday Away but the weather turned around.
It turned away from the blithe country And down the other air and the blue altered sky Streamed again a wonder of summer With apples Pears and red currants And I saw in the turning so clearly a child's Forgotten mornings when he walked with his mother Through the parables Of sun light And the legends of the green chapels And the twice told fields of infancy That his tears burned my cheeks and his heart moved in mine.
These were the woods the river and sea Where a boy In the listening Summertime of the dead whispered the truth of his joy To the trees and the stones and the fish in the tide.
And the mystery Sang alive Still in the water and singingbirds.
And there could I marvel my birthday Away but the weather turned around.
And the true Joy of the long dead child sang burning In the sun.
It was my thirtieth Year to heaven stood there then in the summer noon Though the town below lay leaved with October blood.
O may my heart's truth Still be sung On this high hill in a year's turning.

Written by Dylan Thomas |

Poem On His Birthday

 In the mustardseed sun,
By full tilt river and switchback sea
 Where the cormorants scud,
In his house on stilts high among beaks
 And palavers of birds
This sandgrain day in the bent bay's grave
 He celebrates and spurns
His driftwood thirty-fifth wind turned age;
 Herons spire and spear.
Under and round him go Flounders, gulls, on their cold, dying trails, Doing what they are told, Curlews aloud in the congered waves Work at their ways to death, And the rhymer in the long tongued room, Who tolls his birthday bell, Toils towards the ambush of his wounds; Herons, steeple stemmed, bless.
In the thistledown fall, He sings towards anguish; finches fly In the claw tracks of hawks On a seizing sky; small fishes glide Through wynds and shells of drowned Ship towns to pastures of otters.
He In his slant, racking house And the hewn coils of his trade perceives Herons walk in their shroud, The livelong river's robe Of minnows wreathing around their prayer; And far at sea he knows, Who slaves to his crouched, eternal end Under a serpent cloud, Dolphins dive in their turnturtle dust, The rippled seals streak down To kill and their own tide daubing blood Slides good in the sleek mouth.
In a cavernous, swung Wave's silence, wept white angelus knells.
Thirty-five bells sing struck On skull and scar where his loves lie wrecked, Steered by the falling stars.
And to-morrow weeps in a blind cage Terror will rage apart Before chains break to a hammer flame And love unbolts the dark And freely he goes lost In the unknown, famous light of great And fabulous, dear God.
Dark is a way and light is a place, Heaven that never was Nor will be ever is always true, And, in that brambled void, Plenty as blackberries in the woods The dead grow for His joy.
There he might wander bare With the spirits of the horseshoe bay Or the stars' seashore dead, Marrow of eagles, the roots of whales And wishbones of wild geese, With blessed, unborn God and His Ghost, And every soul His priest, Gulled and chanter in young Heaven's fold Be at cloud quaking peace, But dark is a long way.
He, on the earth of the night, alone With all the living, prays, Who knows the rocketing wind will blow The bones out of the hills, And the scythed boulders bleed, and the last Rage shattered waters kick Masts and fishes to the still quick starts, Faithlessly unto Him Who is the light of old And air shaped Heaven where souls grow wild As horses in the foam: Oh, let me midlife mourn by the shrined And druid herons' vows The voyage to ruin I must run, Dawn ships clouted aground, Yet, though I cry with tumbledown tongue, Count my blessings aloud: Four elements and five Senses, and man a spirit in love Tangling through this spun slime To his nimbus bell cool kingdom come And the lost, moonshine domes, And the sea that hides his secret selves Deep in its black, base bones, Lulling of spheres in the seashell flesh, And this last blessing most, That the closer I move To death, one man through his sundered hulks, The louder the sun blooms And the tusked, ramshackling sea exults; And every wave of the way And gale I tackle, the whole world then, With more triumphant faith That ever was since the world was said, Spins its morning of praise, I hear the bouncing hills Grow larked and greener at berry brown Fall and the dew larks sing Taller this thunderclap spring, and how More spanned with angles ride The mansouled fiery islands! Oh, Holier then their eyes, And my shining men no more alone As I sail out to die.

Written by Dylan Thomas |

Before I Knocked

 Before I knocked and flesh let enter,
With liquid hands tapped on the womb,
I who was as shapeless as the water
That shaped the Jordan near my home
Was brother to Mnetha's daughter
And sister to the fathering worm.
I who was deaf to spring and summer, Who knew not sun nor moon by name, Felt thud beneath my flesh's armour, As yet was in a molten form The leaden stars, the rainy hammer Swung by my father from his dome.
I knew the message of the winter, The darted hail, the childish snow, And the wind was my sister suitor; Wind in me leaped, the hellborn dew; My veins flowed with the Eastern weather; Ungotten I knew night and day.
As yet ungotten, I did suffer; The rack of dreams my lily bones Did twist into a living cipher, And flesh was snipped to cross the lines Of gallow crosses on the liver And brambles in the wringing brains.
My throat knew thirst before the structure Of skin and vein around the well Where words and water make a mixture Unfailing till the blood runs foul; My heart knew love, my belly hunger; I smelt the maggot in my stool.
And time cast forth my mortal creature To drift or drown upon the seas Acquainted with the salt adventure Of tides that never touch the shores.
I who was rich was made the richer By sipping at the vine of days.
I, born of flesh and ghost, was neither A ghost nor man, but mortal ghost.
And I was struck down by death's feather.
I was a mortal to the last Long breath that carried to my father The message of his dying christ.
You who bow down at cross and altar, Remember me and pity Him Who took my flesh and bone for armour And doublecrossed my mother's womb.

Written by Dylan Thomas |

O Make Me A Mask

 O make me a mask and a wall to shut from your spies
Of the sharp, enamelled eyes and the spectacled claws
Rape and rebellion in the nurseries of my face,
Gag of dumbstruck tree to block from bare enemies
The bayonet tongue in this undefended prayerpiece,
The present mouth, and the sweetly blown trumpet of lies,
Shaped in old armour and oak the countenance of a dunce
To shield the glistening brain and blunt the examiners,
And a tear-stained widower grief drooped from the lashes
To veil belladonna and let the dry eyes perceive
Others betray the lamenting lies of their losses
By the curve of the nude mouth or the laugh up the sleeve.

Written by Dylan Thomas |

How Shall My Animal

 How shall my animal
Whose wizard shape I trace in the cavernous skull,
Vessel of abscesses and exultation's shell,
Endure burial under the spelling wall,
The invoked, shrouding veil at the cap of the face,
Who should be furious,
Drunk as a vineyard snail, flailed like an octopus,
Roaring, crawling, quarrel
With the outside weathers,
The natural circle of the discovered skies
Draw down to its weird eyes?

How shall it magnetize,
Towards the studded male in a bent, midnight blaze
That melts the lionhead's heel and horseshoe of the heart
A brute land in the cool top of the country days
To trot with a loud mate the haybeds of a mile,
Love and labour and kill
In quick, sweet, cruel light till the locked ground sprout
The black, burst sea rejoice,
The bowels turn turtle,
Claw of the crabbed veins squeeze from each red particle
The parched and raging voice?

Fishermen of mermen
Creep and harp on the tide, sinking their charmed, bent pin
With bridebait of gold bread, I with a living skein,
Tongue and ear in the thread, angle the temple-bound
Curl-locked and animal cavepools of spells and bone,
Trace out a tentacle,
Nailed with an open eye, in the bowl of wounds and weed
To clasp my fury on ground
And clap its great blood down;
Never shall beast be born to atlas the few seas
Or poise the day on a horn.
Sigh long, clay cold, lie shorn, Cast high, stunned on gilled stone; sly scissors ground in frost Clack through the thicket of strength, love hewn in pillars drops With carved bird, saint, and suns the wrackspiked maiden mouth Lops, as a bush plumed with flames, the rant of the fierce eye, Clips short the gesture of breath.
Die in red feathers when the flying heaven's cut, And roll with the knocked earth: Lie dry, rest robbed, my beast.
You have kicked from a dark den, leaped up the whinnying light, And dug your grave in my breast.

Written by Dylan Thomas |

I Have Longed To Move Away

 I have longed to move away
From the hissing of the spent lie
And the old terrors' continual cry
Growing more terrible as the day
Goes over the hill into the deep sea;
I have longed to move away
From the repetition of salutes,
For there are ghosts in the air
And ghostly echoes on paper,
And the thunder of calls and notes.
I have longed to move away but am afraid; Some life, yet unspent, might explode Out of the old lie burning on the ground, And, crackling into the air, leave me half-blind.
Neither by night's ancient fear, The parting of hat from hair, Pursed lips at the receiver, Shall I fall to death's feather.
By these I would not care to die, Half convention and half lie.

Written by Dylan Thomas |

My Hero Bares His Nerves

 My hero bares his nerves along my wrist
That rules from wrist to shoulder,
Unpacks the head that, like a sleepy ghost,
Leans on my mortal ruler,
The proud spine spurning turn and twist.
And these poor nerves so wired to the skull Ache on the lovelorn paper I hug to love with my unruly scrawl That utters all love hunger And tells the page the empty ill.
My hero bares my side and sees his heart Tread; like a naked Venus, The beach of flesh, and wind her bloodred plait; Stripping my loin of promise, He promises a secret heat.
He holds the wire from this box of nerves Praising the mortal error Of birth and death, the two sad knaves of thieves, And the hunger's emperor; He pulls that chain, the cistern moves.

Written by Dylan Thomas |

Ballad Of The Long-Legged Bait

 The bows glided down, and the coast
Blackened with birds took a last look
At his thrashing hair and whale-blue eye;
The trodden town rang its cobbles for luck.
Then good-bye to the fishermanned Boat with its anchor free and fast As a bird hooking over the sea, High and dry by the top of the mast, Whispered the affectionate sand And the bulwarks of the dazzled quay.
For my sake sail, and never look back, Said the looking land.
Sails drank the wind, and white as milk He sped into the drinking dark; The sun shipwrecked west on a pearl And the moon swam out of its hulk.
Funnels and masts went by in a whirl.
Good-bye to the man on the sea-legged deck To the gold gut that sings on his reel To the bait that stalked out of the sack, For we saw him throw to the swift flood A girl alive with his hooks through her lips; All the fishes were rayed in blood, Said the dwindling ships.
Good-bye to chimneys and funnels, Old wives that spin in the smoke, He was blind to the eyes of candles In the praying windows of waves But heard his bait buck in the wake And tussle in a shoal of loves.
Now cast down your rod, for the whole Of the sea is hilly with whales, She longs among horses and angels, The rainbow-fish bend in her joys, Floated the lost cathedral Chimes of the rocked buoys.
Where the anchor rode like a gull Miles over the moonstruck boat A squall of birds bellowed and fell, A cloud blew the rain from its throat; He saw the storm smoke out to kill With fuming bows and ram of ice, Fire on starlight, rake Jesu's stream; And nothing shone on the water's face But the oil and bubble of the moon, Plunging and piercing in his course The lured fish under the foam Witnessed with a kiss.
Whales in the wake like capes and Alps Quaked the sick sea and snouted deep, Deep the great bushed bait with raining lips Slipped the fins of those humpbacked tons And fled their love in a weaving dip.
Oh, Jericho was falling in their lungs! She nipped and dived in the nick of love, Spun on a spout like a long-legged ball Till every beast blared down in a swerve Till every turtle crushed from his shell Till every bone in the rushing grave Rose and crowed and fell! Good luck to the hand on the rod, There is thunder under its thumbs; Gold gut is a lightning thread, His fiery reel sings off its flames, The whirled boat in the burn of his blood Is crying from nets to knives, Oh the shearwater birds and their boatsized brood Oh the bulls of Biscay and their calves Are making under the green, laid veil The long-legged beautiful bait their wives.
Break the black news and paint on a sail Huge weddings in the waves, Over the wakeward-flashing spray Over the gardens of the floor Clash out the mounting dolphin's day, My mast is a bell-spire, Strike and smoothe, for my decks are drums, Sing through the water-spoken prow The octopus walking into her limbs The polar eagle with his tread of snow.
From salt-lipped beak to the kick of the stern Sing how the seal has kissed her dead! The long, laid minute's bride drifts on Old in her cruel bed.
Over the graveyard in the water Mountains and galleries beneath Nightingale and hyena Rejoicing for that drifting death Sing and howl through sand and anemone Valley and sahara in a shell, Oh all the wanting flesh his enemy Thrown to the sea in the shell of a girl Is old as water and plain as an eel; Always good-bye to the long-legged bread Scattered in the paths of his heels For the salty birds fluttered and fed And the tall grains foamed in their bills; Always good-bye to the fires of the face, For the crab-backed dead on the sea-bed rose And scuttled over her eyes, The blind, clawed stare is cold as sleet.
The tempter under the eyelid Who shows to the selves asleep Mast-high moon-white women naked Walking in wishes and lovely for shame Is dumb and gone with his flame of brides.
Susannah's drowned in the bearded stream And no-one stirs at Sheba's side But the hungry kings of the tides; Sin who had a woman's shape Sleeps till Silence blows on a cloud And all the lifted waters walk and leap.
Lucifer that bird's dropping Out of the sides of the north Has melted away and is lost Is always lost in her vaulted breath, Venus lies star-struck in her wound And the sensual ruins make Seasons over the liquid world, White springs in the dark.
Always good-bye, cried the voices through the shell, Good-bye always, for the flesh is cast And the fisherman winds his reel With no more desire than a ghost.
Always good luck, praised the finned in the feather Bird after dark and the laughing fish As the sails drank up the hail of thunder And the long-tailed lightning lit his catch.
The boat swims into the six-year weather, A wind throws a shadow and it freezes fast.
See what the gold gut drags from under Mountains and galleries to the crest! See what clings to hair and skull As the boat skims on with drinking wings! The statues of great rain stand still, And the flakes fall like hills.
Sing and strike his heavy haul Toppling up the boatside in a snow of light! His decks are drenched with miracles.
Oh miracle of fishes! The long dead bite! Out of the urn a size of a man Out of the room the weight of his trouble Out of the house that holds a town In the continent of a fossil One by one in dust and shawl, Dry as echoes and insect-faced, His fathers cling to the hand of the girl And the dead hand leads the past, Leads them as children and as air On to the blindly tossing tops; The centuries throw back their hair And the old men sing from newborn lips: Time is bearing another son.
Kill Time! She turns in her pain! The oak is felled in the acorn And the hawk in the egg kills the wren.
He who blew the great fire in And died on a hiss of flames Or walked the earth in the evening Counting the denials of the grains Clings to her drifting hair, and climbs; And he who taught their lips to sing Weeps like the risen sun among The liquid choirs of his tribes.
The rod bends low, divining land, And through the sundered water crawls A garden holding to her hand With birds and animals With men and women and waterfalls Trees cool and dry in the whirlpool of ships And stunned and still on the green, laid veil Sand with legends in its virgin laps And prophets loud on the burned dunes; Insects and valleys hold her thighs hard, Times and places grip her breast bone, She is breaking with seasons and clouds; Round her trailed wrist fresh water weaves, with moving fish and rounded stones Up and down the greater waves A separate river breathes and runs; Strike and sing his catch of fields For the surge is sown with barley, The cattle graze on the covered foam, The hills have footed the waves away, With wild sea fillies and soaking bridles With salty colts and gales in their limbs All the horses of his haul of miracles Gallop through the arched, green farms, Trot and gallop with gulls upon them And thunderbolts in their manes.
O Rome and Sodom To-morrow and London The country tide is cobbled with towns And steeples pierce the cloud on her shoulder And the streets that the fisherman combed When his long-legged flesh was a wind on fire And his loin was a hunting flame Coil from the thoroughfares of her hair And terribly lead him home alive Lead her prodigal home to his terror, The furious ox-killing house of love.
Down, down, down, under the ground, Under the floating villages, Turns the moon-chained and water-wound Metropolis of fishes, There is nothing left of the sea but its sound, Under the earth the loud sea walks, In deathbeds of orchards the boat dies down And the bait is drowned among hayricks, Land, land, land, nothing remains Of the pacing, famous sea but its speech, And into its talkative seven tombs The anchor dives through the floors of a church.
Good-bye, good luck, struck the sun and the moon, To the fisherman lost on the land.
He stands alone in the door of his home, With his long-legged heart in his hand.

Written by Dylan Thomas |

Twenty-Four Years

 Twenty-four years remind the tears of my eyes.
(Bury the dead for fear that they walk to the grave in labour.
) In the groin of the natural doorway I crouched like a tailor Sewing a shroud for a journey By the light of the meat-eating sun.
Dressed to die, the sensual strut begun, With my red veins full of money, In the final direction of the elementary town I advance as long as forever is.

Written by Dylan Thomas |

I In My Intricate Image

 I

I, in my intricate image, stride on two levels,
Forged in man's minerals, the brassy orator
Laying my ghost in metal,
The scales of this twin world tread on the double,
My half ghost in armour hold hard in death's corridor,
To my man-iron sidle.
Beginning with doom in the bulb, the spring unravels, Bright as her spinning-wheels, the colic season Worked on a world of petals; She threads off the sap and needles, blood and bubble Casts to the pine roots, raising man like a mountain Out of the naked entrail.
Beginning with doom in the ghost, and the springing marvels, Image of images, my metal phantom Forcing forth through the harebell, My man of leaves and the bronze root, mortal, unmortal, I, in my fusion of rose and male motion, Create this twin miracle.
This is the fortune of manhood: the natural peril, A steeplejack tower, bonerailed and masterless, No death more natural; Thus the shadowless man or ox, and the pictured devil, In seizure of silence commit the dead nuisance.
The natural parallel.
My images stalk the trees and the slant sap's tunnel, No tread more perilous, the green steps and spire Mount on man's footfall, I with the wooden insect in the tree of nettles, In the glass bed of grapes with snail and flower, Hearing the weather fall.
Intricate manhood of ending, the invalid rivals, Voyaging clockwise off the symboled harbour, Finding the water final, On the consumptives' terrace taking their two farewells, Sail on the level, the departing adventure, To the sea-blown arrival.
II They climb the country pinnacle, Twelve winds encounter by the white host at pasture, Corner the mounted meadows in the hill corral; They see the squirrel stumble, The haring snail go giddily round the flower, A quarrel of weathers and trees in the windy spiral.
As they dive, the dust settles, The cadaverous gravels, falls thick and steadily, The highroad of water where the seabear and mackerel Turn the long sea arterial Turning a petrol face blind to the enemy Turning the riderless dead by the channel wall.
(Death instrumental, Splitting the long eye open, and the spiral turnkey, Your corkscrew grave centred in navel and nipple, The neck of the nostril, Under the mask and the ether, they making bloody The tray of knives, the antiseptic funeral; Bring out the black patrol, Your monstrous officers and the decaying army, The sexton sentinel, garrisoned under thistles, A cock-on-a-dunghill Crowing to Lazarus the morning is vanity, Dust be your saviour under the conjured soil.
) As they drown, the chime travels, Sweetly the diver's bell in the steeple of spindrift Rings out the Dead Sea scale; And, clapped in water till the triton dangles, Strung by the flaxen whale-weed, from the hangman's raft, Hear they the salt glass breakers and the tongues of burial.
(Turn the sea-spindle lateral, The grooved land rotating, that the stylus of lightning Dazzle this face of voices on the moon-turned table, Let the wax disk babble Shames and the damp dishonours, the relic scraping.
These are your years' recorders.
The circular world stands still.
) III They suffer the undead water where the turtle nibbles, Come unto sea-stuck towers, at the fibre scaling, The flight of the carnal skull And the cell-stepped thimble; Suffer, my topsy-turvies, that a double angel Sprout from the stony lockers like a tree on Aran.
Be by your one ghost pierced, his pointed ferrule, Brass and the bodiless image, on a stick of folly Star-set at Jacob's angle, Smoke hill and hophead's valley, And the five-fathomed Hamlet on his father's coral Thrusting the tom-thumb vision up the iron mile.
Suffer the slash of vision by the fin-green stubble, Be by the ships' sea broken at the manstring anchored The stoved bones' voyage downward In the shipwreck of muscle; Give over, lovers, locking, and the seawax struggle, Love like a mist or fire through the bed of eels.
And in the pincers of the boiling circle, The sea and instrument, nicked in the locks of time, My great blood's iron single In the pouring town, I, in a wind on fire, from green Adam's cradle, No man more magical, clawed out the crocodile.
Man was the scales, the death birds on enamel, Tail, Nile, and snout, a saddler of the rushes, Time in the hourless houses Shaking the sea-hatched skull, And, as for oils and ointments on the flying grail, All-hollowed man wept for his white apparel.
Man was Cadaver's masker, the harnessing mantle, Windily master of man was the rotten fathom, My ghost in his metal neptune Forged in man's mineral.
This was the god of beginning in the intricate seawhirl, And my images roared and rose on heaven's hill.

Written by Dylan Thomas |

Then Was My Neophyte

 Then was my neophyte,
Child in white blood bent on its knees
Under the bell of rocks,
Ducked in the twelve, disciple seas
The winder of the water-clocks
Calls a green day and night.
My sea hermaphrodite, Snail of man in His ship of fires That burn the bitten decks, Knew all His horrible desires The climber of the water sex Calls the green rock of light.
Who in these labyrinths, This tidethread and the lane of scales, Twine in a moon-blown shell, Escapes to the flat cities' sails Furled on the fishes' house and hell, Nor falls to His green myths? Stretch the salt photographs, The landscape grief, love in His oils Mirror from man to whale That the green child see like a grail Through veil and fin and fire and coil Time on the canvas paths.
He films my vanity.
Shot in the wind, by tilted arcs, Over the water come Children from homes and children's parks Who speak on a finger and thumb, And the masked, headless boy.
His reels and mystery The winder of the clockwise scene Wound like a ball of lakes Then threw on that tide-hoisted screen Love's image till my heartbone breaks By a dramatic sea.
Who kills my history? The year-hedged row is lame with flint, Blunt scythe and water blade.
'Who could snap off the shapeless print From your to-morrow-treading shade With oracle for eye?' Time kills me terribly.
'Time shall not murder you,' He said, 'Nor the green nought be hurt; Who could hack out your unsucked heart, O green and unborn and undead?' I saw time murder me.

Written by Dylan Thomas |

From Loves First Fever To Her Plague

 From love's first fever to her plague, from the soft second
And to the hollow minute of the womb,
From the unfolding to the scissored caul,
The time for breast and the green apron age
When no mouth stirred about the hanging famine,
All world was one, one windy nothing,
My world was christened in a stream of milk.
And earth and sky were as one airy hill.
The sun and mood shed one white light.
From the first print of the unshodden foot, the lifting Hand, the breaking of the hair, From the first scent of the heart, the warning ghost, And to the first dumb wonder at the flesh, The sun was red, the moon was grey, The earth and sky were as two mountains meeting.
The body prospered, teeth in the marrowed gums, The growing bones, the rumour of the manseed Within the hallowed gland, blood blessed the heart, And the four winds, that had long blown as one, Shone in my ears the light of sound, Called in my eyes the sound of light.
And yellow was the multiplying sand, Each golden grain spat life into its fellow, Green was the singing house.
The plum my mother picked matured slowly, The boy she dropped from darkness at her side Into the sided lap of light grew strong, Was muscled, matted, wise to the crying thigh, And to the voice that, like a voice of hunger, Itched in the noise of wind and sun.
And from the first declension of the flesh I learnt man's tongue, to twist the shapes of thoughts Into the stony idiom of the brain, To shade and knit anew the patch of words Left by the dead who, in their moonless acre, Need no word's warmth.
The root of tongues ends in a spentout cancer, That but a name, where maggots have their X.
I learnt the verbs of will, and had my secret; The code of night tapped on my tongue; What had been one was many sounding minded.
One wound, one mind, spewed out the matter, One breast gave suck the fever's issue; From the divorcing sky I learnt the double, The two-framed globe that spun into a score; A million minds gave suck to such a bud As forks my eye; Youth did condense; the tears of spring Dissolved in summer and the hundred seasons; One sun, one manna, warmed and fed.

Written by Dylan Thomas |

This Side Of The Truth

 (for Llewelyn)

This side of the truth,
You may not see, my son,
King of your blue eyes
In the blinding country of youth,
That all is undone,
Under the unminding skies,
Of innocence and guilt
Before you move to make
One gesture of the heart or head,
Is gathered and spilt
Into the winding dark
Like the dust of the dead.
Good and bad, two ways Of moving about your death By the grinding sea, King of your heart in the blind days, Blow away like breath, Go crying through you and me And the souls of all men Into the innocent Dark, and the guilty dark, and good Death, and bad death, and then In the last element Fly like the stars' blood Like the sun's tears, Like the moon's seed, rubbish And fire, the flying rant Of the sky, king of your six years.
And the wicked wish, Down the beginning of plants And animals and birds, Water and Light, the earth and sky, Is cast before you move, And all your deeds and words, Each truth, each lie, Die in unjudging love.

Written by Dylan Thomas |

Especially When The October Wind

 Especially when the October wind
With frosty fingers punishes my hair,
Caught by the crabbing sun I walk on fire
And cast a shadow crab upon the land,
By the sea's side, hearing the noise of birds,
Hearing the raven cough in winter sticks,
My busy heart who shudders as she talks
Sheds the syllabic blood and drains her words.
Shut, too, in a tower of words, I mark On the horizon walking like the trees The wordy shapes of women, and the rows Of the star-gestured children in the park.
Some let me make you of the vowelled beeches, Some of the oaken voices, from the roots Of many a thorny shire tell you notes, Some let me make you of the water's speeches.
Behind a post of ferns the wagging clock Tells me the hour's word, the neural meaning Flies on the shafted disk, declaims the morning And tells the windy weather in the cock.
Some let me make you of the meadow's signs; The signal grass that tells me all I know Breaks with the wormy winter through the eye.
Some let me tell you of the raven's sins.
Especially when the October wind (Some let me make you of autumnal spells, The spider-tongued, and the loud hill of Wales) With fists of turnips punishes the land, Some let me make of you the heartless words.
The heart is drained that, spelling in the scurry Of chemic blood, warned of the coming fury.
By the sea's side hear the dark-vowelled birds.

Written by Dylan Thomas |

If I Were Tickled By the Rub of Love

 If I were tickled by the rub of love,
A rooking girl who stole me for her side,
Broke through her straws, breaking my bandaged string,
If the red tickle as the cattle calve
Still set to scratch a laughter from my lung,
I would not fear the apple nor the flood
Nor the bad blood of spring.
Shall it be male or female? say the cells, And drop the plum like fire from the flesh.
If I were tickled by the hatching hair, The winging bone that sprouted in the heels, The itch of man upon the baby's thigh, I would not fear the gallows nor the axe Nor the crossed sticks of war.
Shall it be male or female? say the fingers That chalk the walls with greet girls and their men.
I would not fear the muscling-in of love If I were tickled by the urchin hungers Rehearsing heat upon a raw-edged nerve.
I would not fear the devil in the loin Nor the outspoken grave.
If I were tickled by the lovers' rub That wipes away not crow's-foot nor the lock Of sick old manhood on the fallen jaws, Time and the crabs and the sweethearting crib Would leave me cold as butter for the flies The sea of scums could drown me as it broke Dead on the sweethearts' toes.
This world is half the devil's and my own, Daft with the drug that's smoking in a girl And curling round the bud that forks her eye.
An old man's shank one-marrowed with my bone, And all the herrings smelling in the sea, I sit and watch the worm beneath my nail Wearing the quick away.
And that's the rub, the only rub that tickles.
The knobbly ape that swings along his sex From damp love-darkness and the nurse's twist Can never raise the midnight of a chuckle, Nor when he finds a beauty in the breast Of lover, mother, lovers, or his six Feet in the rubbing dust.
And what's the rub? Death's feather on the nerve? Your mouth, my love, the thistle in the kiss? My Jack of Christ born thorny on the tree? The words of death are dryer than his stiff, My wordy wounds are printed with your hair.
I would be tickled by the rub that is: Man be my metaphor.