Archive for October 2nd, 2012
Dylan Thomas had an incredibly interesting life–As a Welsh citizen, he began writing poems at an early age. “While living in London, Thomas met Caitlin Macnamara whom he married in 1937. Their relationship was defined by alcoholism and was mutually destructive. In the early part of his marriage, Thomas and his family lived hand-to-mouth, settling in the Welsh fishing village of Laugharne.
Although Thomas was appreciated as a popular poet in his lifetime, he found earning a living as a writer difficult, which resulted in Thomas augmenting his income with readings and broadcasts. His radio recordings for the BBC during the latter half of the 1940s brought him a level of celebrity. In the 1950s Thomas travelled to America, where his readings brought him a level of fame, though his erratic behaviour and drinking worsened.
The film The Edge of Love was based on his tumultous relationship with his wife Caitlin (played by Sienna Miller) and his lover (played by Keira Knightly):
His time in America cemented Thomas’ legend, where he recorded to vinyl works such as A Child’s Christmas in Wales. During his fourth trip to New York in 1953 Thomas became gravely ill and fell into a coma from which he did not recover. Thomas died on 9 November 1953 and his body was returned to Wales where he was buried at the village churchyard in Laugharne.
Dylan Thomas’s Work:
From His Official Website: “His work took many forms, including scripts for radio broadcasts, radio plays, short stories, films and an unfinished novel, although he is best known for poetry. Dylan’s most popular poems include ‘Do not go gentle into that good night’ and ‘And Death Shall have No Dominion‘. He also included poetry in his famous play for voices, ‘Under Milk Wood’.
“Though they sink through the sea they shall rise again;
Though lovers be lost love shall not
And death shall have no dominion”
And death shall have no dominion
“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”
‘Poem in October’ from Dylan Thomas’ Collected Poems (London: Phoenix, 2003)
Although writing exclusively in the English language, Thomas has been acknowledged as one of the most important Welsh poets of the 20th century. Noted for his original, rhythmic and ingenious use of words and imagery, Thomas’ position as one of the great modern poets has been much discussed, though this has not tarnished his popularity amongst the general public, who found his work accessible.