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Distributed for University of Wales Press

Dylan Thomas

Covering the whole range of Dylan Thomas’s writing—both poetry and prose—Walford Davies’s Dylan Thomas is an accessible appraisal of the work and achievement of this major and dynamic poet. Davies analyzes Thomas and his work in light of his Welsh background, while simultaneously illustrating Thomas’s wide knowledge of and impact on the long and varied tradition of poetry in English. In that connection, Davies delineates and delimits Thomas’s relationship to surrealism, compares and contrasts his work with that of other poets of the 1930s and ’40s, and shows how the power of his writing survives to this day, long after his untimely death in 1953. This new edition offers an updated bibliography and Davies’s own commentary on the previous edition.

208 pages | 7 halftones | 5 1/2 x 8 1/2 | © 2014

University of Wales Press - Writers of Wales

Biography and Letters

Literature and Literary Criticism: British and Irish Literature

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“Walford Davies’s sympathetic introduction to the character and writing of Dylan Thomas, one of the great twentieth-century poets, is illuminating for new or experienced readers. His appraisal and close readings are warmly personal, rooted in Welsh literary and social culture.”

Barbara Hardy, author of Dylan Thomas: An Original Language

Table of Contents


List of Illustrations


1. ‘Begin at the beginning’: introductory

2. ‘The sideboard fruit, the ferns’: the poet in suburbia

3. ‘The loud hill of Wales’: the Welshness of the work

4. ‘I’ll put them all in a story by and by’: aspects of the prose

5. ‘Now my saying shall be my undoing’: the need to change

6. ‘Criss-cross rhythms’: comparisons of earlier and later poems

7. ‘Ann’s bard on a raised hearth’: towards ‘After the funeral (In Memory of Ann Jones)’

8. ‘Mostly bare I would lie down’: a creative decade ends in war

9. ‘Arc-lamped thrown back upon the cutting flood’; ‘This unbelievable lack of wires’: wartime, film work, broadcasts

10. ‘We hid our fears in that murdering breath’: the war elegies

11. ‘Parables of sun light’: towards ‘Poem in October’, ‘Fern Hill’, ‘Do not go gentle into that good night’ and beyond

12. ‘Is my voice being your eyes?’: Under Milk Wood

13. ‘The rhymer in the long tongued room’: writing places and the place of the poet

14. ‘As I sail out to die’: the late poems

15. ‘The hero’s head lies scraped of every legend’: the legend and the man


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