Poems of Dylan Thomas

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Overview

The most complete edition of the works of one of the twentieth century's greatest poets, including an audio CD containing vintage recordings of Thomas reading eight of his poems.
This new, revised edition of The Poems of Dylan Thomas is based on the collection edited by Thomas's life-long friend and fellow poet, Daniel Jones, first published by New Directions in 1971. Jones started with the ninety poems Thomas selected for his Collected Poems in 1952 (at a time when the poet ...

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Scranton, Pennsylvania, U.S.A. 1971 Hardback New in New jacket New hardback with pictorial jacket showing Thomas as a young man.

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Overview

The most complete edition of the works of one of the twentieth century's greatest poets, including an audio CD containing vintage recordings of Thomas reading eight of his poems.
This new, revised edition of The Poems of Dylan Thomas is based on the collection edited by Thomas's life-long friend and fellow poet, Daniel Jones, first published by New Directions in 1971. Jones started with the ninety poems Thomas selected for his Collected Poems in 1952 (at a time when the poet expected that many years of work still lay ahead of him) and, after exhaustive research and consideration, added one hundred previously finished, though uncollected, poems (including twenty-six juvenile works), and two unfinished poems, and arranged them all in chronological order of composition, creating the most complete edition of Thomas's poems ever published. This revised edition contains all the original material and incorporates textual corrections. Also included are an introduction and concise notes by Daniel Jones, a brief chronology of the poet's life, and a compact disc containing vintage recordings of Thomas reading eight of his poems in his famous "Welsh-singing" style, making this edition of The Poems of Dylan Thomas a truly remarkable collection.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780811203982
  • Publisher: New Directions Publishing Corporation
  • Publication date: 9/28/1971
  • Edition description: REVISED
  • Product dimensions: 5.70 (w) x 8.80 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

The reputation of Welsh poet Dylan Thomas (1914-1953) as one of the greatest poets of the twentieth century has not waned in the fifty years since his death. His work, noted for its lush metaphors, musicality, and playfulness within traditional forms, was largely responsible for modernizing poetic verse. Thomas also wrote captivating short stories, a novella, several screenplays and radio plays, as well as his delightful stage play, Under Milk Wood—all infused with his passion for the English language and his enduring love of Wales.

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Read an Excerpt

The Poems of DYLAN THOMAS


By Thomas Dylan

A NEW DIRECTIONS BOOK

Copyright © 2003 New Directions Publishing Corporation
All right reserved.

ISBN: 0811215415


Chapter One

PROLOGUE


This day winding down now
At God speeded summer's end
In the torrent salmon sun,
In my seashaken house
On a breakneck of rocks
Tangled with chirrup and fruit,
Froth, flute, fin and quill
At a wood's dancing hoof,
By scummed, starfish sands
With their fishwife cross
Gulls, pipers, cockles, and sails,
Out there, crow black, men
Tackled with clouds, who kneel
To the sunset nets,
Geese nearly in heaven, boys
Stabbing, and herons, and shells
That speak seven seas,
Eternal waters away
From the cities of nine
Days' night whose towers will catch
In the religious wind
Like stalks of tall, dry straw,
At poor peace I sing
To you strangers, (though song
Is a burning and crested act,
The fire of birds in
The world's turning wood,
For my sawn, splay sounds),
Out of these seathumbed leaves
That will fly and fall
Like leaves of trees and as soon
Crumble and undie
Into the dogdayed night.
Seaward the salmon, sucked sun slips,
And the dumb swans drub blue
My dabbed bay's dusk, as I hack
This rumpus of shapes
For you to know
How I, a spinning man,
Glory also this star, bird
Roared, sea born, man torn, blood blest.
Hark: I trumpet the place,
From fish to jumping hill! Look:
I build my bellowing ark
To the best of my love
As the flood begins,
Out of the fountainhead
Of fear, rage red, manalive,
Molten and mountainous to stream
Over the wound asleep
Sheep white hollow farms

To Wales in my arms.
Hoo, there, in castle keep,
You king singsong owls, who moonbeam
The flickering runs and dive
The dingle furred deer dead!
Huloo, on plumbed bryns,
O my ruffled ring dove
In the hooting, nearly dark
With Welsh and reverent rook,
Coo rooing the woods' praise,
Who moons her blue notes from her nest
Down to the curlew herd!


Ho, hullaballoing clan
Agape, with woe
In your beaks, on the gabbing capes!
Heigh, on horseback hill, jack
Whisking hare! who
Hears, there, this fox light, my flood ship's
Clangour as I hew and smite
(A clash of anvils for my
Hubbub and fiddle, this tune
On a tongued puffball)
But animals thick as thieves
On God's rough tumbling grounds
(Hail to His beasthood).
Beasts who sleep good and thin,
Hist, in hogsback woods! The haystacked
Hollow farms in a throng
Of waters cluck and cling,
And barnroofs cockcrow war!
O kingdom of neighbours, finned
Felled and quilled, flash to my patch
Work ark and the moonshine
Drinking Noah of the bay,
With pelt, and scale, and fleece:
Only the drowned deep bells
Of sheep and churches noise
Poor peace as the sun sets
And dark shoals every holy field.
We will ride out alone, and then,
Under the stars of Wales,
Cry, Multitudes of arks! Across
The water lidded lands,
Manned with their loves they'll move,
Like wooden islands, hill to hill.
Huloo, my proud dove with a flute!
Ahoy, old, sea-legged fox,
Tom tit and Dai mouse!
My ark sings in the sun
At God speeded summer's end
And ,the flowers now.



1


I KNOW THIS VICIOUS MINUTE'S HOUR



I know this vicious minute's hour;
It is a sour motion in the blood,
That, like a tree, has roots in you,
And buds in you.
Each silver moment chimes
in steps of sound,
And I, caught in mid-air perhaps,
Hear and am still the little bird.
You have offended, periodic heart;
You I shall drown unreasonably,
Leave you in me to be found
Darker than ever,
Too full with blood to let my love flow in.
Stop is unreal;
I want reality to hold
within my palm,
Not, as a symbol, stone
speaking or no,
But it, reality, whose voice I know
To be the circle not the stair of sound.
Go is my wish;
Then shall I go,
But in the light of going
Minutes are mine
I could devote to other things.
Stop has no minutes,
but I go or die.



2


COOL, OH NO COOL



Cool, oh no cool,
Sharp, oh no sharp,
The hillock of the thoughts you think
With that half-moulded mind I said was yours,
But cooler when I take it back,
And sharper if I break asunder
The icicle of each deliberate fancy.
For when I bought you for a thought, (you cost no more)
How could I smooth that skin
Knowing a dream could darken it,
And, the string pulled, some mental doll
Ravage and break,
How kiss, when doll could say
Master, her mouth is sawdust
And her tongue, look, ash,
Part from her,
Part from her,
Sweet, automatic me knows best.
But you shall not go from me, creation;
Oh no, my mind is your panopticon;
You shall not go unless I will it
And my thoughts flow so uneasily
There is no measured sea for them,
No place in which, wave perched on wave,
Such energy may gain
The sense it is to have.
You wish to stay my prisoner
Closed in your cell of secret thoughts,
And I, your captor, have my love to keep
From which you may not fly.



3

THE AIR YOU BREATHE



The air you breathe encroaches
The throat is mine I know the neck
Wind is my enemy your hair shant stir
Under his strong impulsive kiss
The rainbow's foot is not more apt
To have the centaur lover
So steal her not O goat-legged wind
But leave but still adore
For if the gods would love
Theyd see with eyes like mine
But should not touch like I
Your sweet inducive thighs
And raven hair.



4


CABARET



I, poor romantic, held her heel
Upon the island of my palm,
And saw towards her tiny face
Going her glistening calves that minute.
There was a purpose in her pointed foot;
Her thighs and underclothes were sweet,
And drew my spiral breath
To circumambulate for decency
Their golden and their other colour.
The band was playing on the balcony.
One lady's hand was lifted,
But she did not cry, `I see;
I see the man is mad with love.'
Her fan burst in a million lights
As that her heel was lifted,
Gone from my palm to leave it marked
With quite a kind of heart.
She is on dancing toes again,
Sparkling a twelve-legged body
And many arms to raise
Over her heel and me.
I, poor romantic, contemplate
The insect on this painted tree.
Which is the metal wing
And which the real?



5


SOMETIMES THE SKY'S TOO BRIGHT



Sometimes the sky's too bright,
Or has too many clouds or birds,
And far away's too sharp a sun
To nourish thinking of him.
Why is my hand too blunt
To cut in front of me
My horrid images for me,
Of over-fruitful smiles,
The weightless touching of the lip
I wish to know
I cannot lift, but can,
The creature with the angel's face


Who tells me hurt,
And sees my body go
Down into misery?
No stopping. Put the smile
Where tears have come to dry.
The angel's hurt is left;
His telling burns.
Sometimes a woman's heart has salt,
Or too much blood;
I tear her breast,
And see the blood is mine,
Flowing from her but mine,
And then I think
Perhaps the sky's too bright;
And watch my hand,
But do not follow it,
And feel the pain it gives,
But do not ache.



6


RAIN CUTS THE PLACE WE TREAD



Rain cuts the place we tread,
A sparkling fountain for us
With no fountain boy but me
To balance on my palms
The water from a street of clouds.
We sail a boat upon the path,
Paddle with leaves
Down an ecstatic line of light,
Watching, not too aware
To make our senses take too much,
The unrolled waves
So starred with gravel,
The living vessels of the garden
Drifting in easy time;
And, as we watch, the rainbow's foot
Stamps on the ground,
A legendary horse with hoof and feather,
Impatient to be off.
He goes across the sky,
But, when he's out of sight,
The mark his flying tail has left
Branches a million shades,
A gay parabola
Above a boat of leaves and weeds.
We try to steer;
The stream's fantastically hard,
Too stiff to churn with leaves,
A sedge of broken stalks and shells.
This is a drain of iron plants,
For when we touch a flower with our oar
We strike but do not stir it.
Our boat is made to rise
By waves which grow again
Their own melodious height,
Into the rainbow's shy embrace.
We shiver uncomplainingly,
And taste upon our lips, this minute,
The emerald kiss,
And breath on breath of indigo.



7


THE MORNING, SPACE FOR LEDA



The morning, space for Leda
To stir the water with a buoyant foot,
And interlude for violins
To catch her sailing down the stream-
The phrases on the wood aren't hers;
A fishing bird has notes of ivory
Alive within his craning throat-
Sees the moon still up,
Bright, well-held head,
And, for a pivot,
The shadows from the glassy sea
To wet the sky with tears,
And daub the unrisen sun with longing.
The swan makes strings of water in her wake;
Between the moon and sun
There's time to pluck a tune upon the harp,
Moisten the mouth of sleep
To kiss awake
My hand with honey that had closed upon a flower.
Between the rising and the falling
Spring may be green-
Under her cloth of trees no sorrow,
Under her grassy dress no limbs-And
winter follow like an echo
The summer voice so warm from fruit
That clustered round her shoulders,
And hid her uncovered breast.
The morning, too, is tune for love,
When Leda, on a toe of down,
Dances a measure with the swan
Who holds her clasped inside his strong, white wings;
And darkness, hand in hand with light,
Is blind with tears too frail to taste.



8


THE SPIRE CRANES



The spire cranes. Its statue is an aviary.
From the stone nest it does not let the feathery
Carved birds blunt their striking throats on the salt gravel,
Pierce the spilt sky with diving wing in weed and heel
An inch in froth. Chimes cheat the prison spire, pelter
In time like outlaw rains on that priest, water,
Time for the swimmers' hands, music for silver lock
And mouth. Both note and plume plunge from the spire's hook.
Those craning birds are choice for you, songs that jump back
To the built voice, or fly with winter to the bells,
But do not travel down dumb wind like prodigals.



9


TIME ENOUGH TO ROT



Time enough to rot;
Toss overhead
Your golden ball of blood;
Breathe against air,
Puffing the light's flame to and fro,
Not drawing in your suction's kiss.
Your mouth's fine dust
Will find such love against the grain,
And break through dark;
It's acrid in the streets;
A paper witch upon her sulphured broom
Flies from the gutter.
The still go hard,
The moving fructify;
The walker's apple's black as sin;
The waters of his mind draw in.
Then swim your head,
For you've a sea to lie.



10


IT'S NOT IN MISERY BUT IN OBLIVION



It's not in misery but in oblivion,
Not vertically in a mood of joy
Screaming the spring
Over the ancient winter,
He'll lie down, and our breath
Will chill the roundness of his cheeks,
And make his wide mouth home.
For we must whisper down the funnel
The love we had and glory in his blood
Coursing along the channels
Until the spout dried up
That flowed out of the soil
All seasons with the same meticulous power,
But the veins must fail.
He's not awake to the grave
Though we cry down the funnel,
Splitting a thought into such hideous moments
As drown, over and over, this fever.
He's dead, home, has no lover,
But our speaking does not thrive
In the bosom, or the empty channels.
Our evil, when we breathe it,
Of dissolution and the empty fall,
Won't harm the tent around him,
Uneaten and not to be pierced
By us in sin or us in gaiety.
And who shall tell the amorist
Oblivion is so loverless.



11


THE NATURAL DAY AND NIGHT



The natural day and night
Are full enough to drown my melancholy
Of sound and sight,
Vigour and harmony in light to none,
One hour spend my time for me
In tuning impulses to calls;
Kinder;
So phrase;
Don't hurt the chic anatomy
Of ladies' needles worn to breaking point
Sewing a lie to a credulity,
With zest culled from their ladylike heat,
Hedgerow, laboratory, and even glasshouse,
But the sun cracks it
But the stones crack it
Out of my hand in stopping up my mouth,
My ears, my nose, my eyes,
And all my thin prerogative of taste.
But while day is there's night to it,
And night to it.
The black shadow comes down,
And the beautiful noise is quelled,
For my merry words,
So rare-
Who taught me trouble?
I, said the beetle, out of my thin black womb,
Out of my thin black lips,
Trouble enough for the world
Out of my filthy eyes
And my corrupting knowledge-

(Continues...)



Excerpted from The Poems of DYLAN THOMAS by Thomas Dylan Copyright © 2003 by New Directions Publishing Corporation
Excerpted by permission. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.

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Table of Contents

Preface
Introduction
Prologue 3
1 I know this vicious minute's hour 7
2 Cool, oh no cool 8
3 The air you breathe 9
4 Cabaret 9
5 Sometimes the sky's too bright 10
6 Rain cuts the place we tread 11
7 The morning, space for Leda 13
8 The spire cranes 14
9 Time enough to rot 15
10 It's not in misery but in oblivion 16
11 The natural day and night 17
12 Conceive these images in air 18
13 The neophyte, baptized in smiles 19
14 To be encompassed by the brilliant earth 20
15 Although through my bewildered way 21
16 High on a hill 22
17 Since, on a quiet night 23
18 They are the only dead who did not love 24
19 Little Problem 25
20 When you have ground such beauty down to dust 26
21 There's plenty in the world 27
22 Written for a Personal Epitaph 28
23 Never to reach the oblivious dark 29
24 Children of darkness got no wings 30
25 Too long, skeleton 31
26 Nearly summer 31
27 Youth Calls to Age 32
28 Being but men 33
29 Out of the sighs 34
30 Upon your held-out hand 35
31 Walking in gardens 36
32 Now the thirst parches lip and tongue 37
33 Lift up your face 37
34 Let it be known 38
35 The midnight road 39
36 With windmills turning wrong directions 39
37 The gossipers 41
38 Before the gas fades 42
39 Was there a time 43
40 'We who are young are old' 44
41 Out of a war of wits 46
42 Their faces shone under some radiance 47
43 I have longed to move away 48
44 To follow the fox 49
45 The ploughman's gone 50
46 Poet: 1935 51
47 Light, I know, treads the ten million stars 54
48 And death shall have no dominion 55
49 Out of the Pit 56
50 We lying by seasand 60
51 No man believes 61
52 Why east wind chills 62
53 Greek Play in a Garden 63
54 Praise to the architects 64
55 Here in this spring 65
56 We have the fairy tales by heart 66
57 'Find meat on bones' 68
58 Ears in the turrets hear 69
59 The Woman Speaks 71
60 Shall gods be said to thump the clouds 74
61 The hand that signed the paper 75
62 Let for one moment a faith statement 76
63 You are the ruler of this realm of flesh 77
64 Before I knocked 78
65 We see rise the secret wind 80
66 Take the needles and the knives 81
67 Not forever shall the Lord of the red hail 84
68 Before we mothernaked fall 85
69 The sun burns the morning 86
70 My hero bares his nerves 87
71 Song 88
72 Through these lashed rings 89
73 The force that through the green fuse drives the flower 90
74 From love's first fever to her plague 91
75 The almanac of time 93
76 All that I owe the fellows of the grave 93
77 Here lie the beasts 95
78 Light breaks where no sun shines 95
79 A Letter to My Aunt Discussing the Correct Approach to Modern Poetry 97
80 See, says the lime 99
81 This bread I break 101
82 Your pain shall be a music 101
83 A process in the weather of the heart 102
84 Our eunuch dreams 104
85 Where once the waters of your face 106
86 I see the boys of summer 107
87 In the beginning 109
88 If I were tickled by the rub of love 111
89 Twelve 113
90 When once the twilight locks on longer 113
91 Especially when the October wind 116
92 When, like a running grave 117
93 I fellowed sleep 119
94 I dreamed my genesis 120
95 My World is Pyramid 122
96 All all and all the dry worlds lever 125
97 Grief thief of time 127
98 I, in my intricate image 128
99 Do you not father me 132
100 How soon the servant sun 133
101 A grief ago 134
102 Should lanterns shine 136
103 Altarwise by owl-light 137
104 Incarnate devil 142
105 Hold hard, these ancient minutes in the cuckoo's month 143
106 Foster the light 144
107 Today, this insect 145
108 The seed-at-zero 146
109 Now 149
110 Then was my neophyte 150
111 It is the sinners' dust-tongued bell 152
112 I make this in a warring absence 153
113 O make me a mask 156
114 Not from this anger 156
115 How shall my animal 157
116 After the funeral 159
117 O Chatterton 160
118 When all my five and country senses see 162
119 The tombstone told when she died 162
120 On no work of words 164
121 I, the first named 164
122 A saint about to fall 165
123 Twenty-four years 167
124 The Molls 167
125 Once it was the colour of saying 168
126 Because the pleasure-bird whistles 168
127 'If my head hurt a hair's foot' 169
128 To Others than You 171
129 Unluckily for a death 172
130 Paper and sticks 174
131 When I woke 175
132 Once below a time 176
133 There was a saviour 178
134 The Countryman's Return 179
135 Into her lying down head 183
136 Request to Leda 186
137 Deaths and Entrances 186
138 On a Wedding Anniversary 188
139 Ballad of the Long-legged Bait 189
140 Love in the Asylum 197
141 On the Marriage of a Virgin 198
142 The hunchback in the park 198
143 Among those Killed in the Dawn Raid was a Man Aged a Hundred 200
144 Ceremony after a Fire Raid 201
145 Last night I dived my beggar arm 204
146 Poem 204
147 Poem in October 205
148 New Quay 207
149 Vision and Prayer 209
150 Holy Spring 215
151 A Winter's Tale 216
152 A Refusal to Mourn the Death, by Fire, of a Child in London 221
153 This side of the truth 222
154 The conversation of prayers 223
155 Lie still, sleep becalmed 224
156 Fern Hill 225
157 In my craft or sullen art 227
158 In Country Sleep 228
159 Over Sir John's hill 232
160 In the White Giant's Thigh 234
161 Lament 237
162 Do not go gentle into that good night 239
163 Poem on His Birthday 240
App. I Unfinished Poems
164 In Country Heaven 247
165 Elegy 249
App. II Early Poems
166 The Song of the Mischievous Dog 253
167 Forest Picture 254
168 Missing 254
169 In Dreams 255
170 Idyll of Unforgetfulness 256
171 Of Any Flower 258
172 Clown in the Moon 258
173 To a Slender Wind 259
174 The Elm 259
175 The Oak 260
176 The Pine 260
177 To the Spring-Spirit 261
178 Triolet 261
179 You shall not despair 262
180 My river 263
181 We will be conscious of our sanctity 265
182 I have come to catch your voice 266
183 When your furious motion 267
184 No thought can trouble my unwholesome pose 268
185 No, pigeon, I'm too wise 269
186 Woman on Tapestry 270
187 Pillar breaks 273
188 It's light that makes the intervals 274
189 Let me escape 275
190 The rod can lift its twining head 275
191 Admit the sun 276
A Note on Verse-Patterns 279
Notes on the Poems 283
A Chronology 307
A Note on this Revised Edition 311
Index of Titles and First Lines 315
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 5 )
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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 23, 2009

    Dylan Thomas is amazing!

    This is an incredible book. A masterful poet with a yearning spirit. Dylan Thomas wrote in celebration of man and in worship to God. It's very much worth owning.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 20, 2001

    dylan thomas is one of my favorite poets

    Years ago i read 'do not go gentle into that good night' and i was introduced to dylan thomas. i quickly went out and bought his collected poems, and was totally enraptured by the poet. he has stayed on the top of my favorites, even as i read more and more poetry. this collection is not a complete works. it contains what Daniel Jones (a friend of DT's) selected out of thomas' works. the collected poems and about 100 other poems, one additional incomplete poem, and 26 poems from DT's juvenalia. it's a good collection, but you can see why dylan thomas did not include these extra poems in his collected poems. they aren't as great as what he can produce. if you love dylan thomas, like i do, then this is a great book to buy, otherwise, you can just stick with the collected poems (those poems were selected by DT himself, as the work he wanted to 'save').

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 2, 2000

    greatest

    i think dylan thomas is an excellent writter of the world around us

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 10, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted August 9, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

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