Dylan Thomas

Carmarthen, Wales
I have just come back from a weekend in Carmarthen. And as is always the case when I’m up there my thoughts have been with my boyhood hero – Dylan Thomas. (His mother was from a farm near Carmarthen) Even more so on this trip since the anniversary of his death in 1953 was earlier in the week. I can’t pretend it was his poetry that beckoned me at the age of 16, it was more the rebel, the romantic, the love of language and the wit that appealed. In those days it was his radio broadcasts, stories and essays that held me. I still have a tattered copy of ‘Quite Early One Morning’, the title piece closely related to the conception of ‘Under Milk Wood’ The poems came, of course, as I got older and remain favourite reading.

There’s been quite a lot of talk about what is poetry and what is not recently, here’s what Thomas said, “I agree that music-hall songs can be good poetry – so can limericks, drawing or tap-room - but I don’t think cracker mottoes, etc., ever have been.”

But then as he added later in the piece…’Almost anything one says about poetry is as true and important as anything else that anyone else has said.’ How true. By the way you may have noticed that Christmas is approaching. If you haven’t read Thomas’s ‘A Child’s Christmas in Wales’ this is the year to do so!