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Where Have the Old Words Got Me?

Explications of Dylan Thomas’s Collected Poems, 1934-1953

Dylan Thomas is one of the most well-known poets of the twentieth century, yet much of his poetry is considered obscure and difficult, and readers tend to concentrate on those poems that can be most easily understood.
Where Have the Old Words Got Me? is the authoritative reader’s guide to Dylan Thomas’s Collected Poems, 1934-1953, consisting of detailed explications of every poem in the collection. Working from the principle that Thomas’s biography offers the key to his poetry, Ralph Maud integrates critical commentary with biographical detail to elucidate Thomas’s works. His aim is to allow readers to understand better the complex imagery and narrative movements of Thomas’s work and to provide the basis for renewed critical investigation of the poetry.
Ralph Maud is a world-renowned expert on Dylan Thomas, as well as the co-editorof the standard edition of Thomas’s work. Where Have the Old Words Got Me? is the culmination of his lifetime’s study of Thomas’s poetry. It will be essential reading for all those interested in the life and works of Dylan Thomas, from academic specialists to the general reader.

368 pages | © 2003

Literature and Literary Criticism: General Criticism and Critical Theory

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Table of Contents

After the funeral
A grief ago
All all and all
Altarwise by owl-light
Among those Killed in the Dawn Raid was a Man Aged a Hundred
And death shall have no dominion
A process in the weather of the heart
A Refusal to Mourn the Death, by Fire, of a Child in London
A saint about to fall
A Winter’s Tale
Ballad of the Long-legged Bait
Because the pleasure-bird whistles
Before I knocked
Ceremony After a Fire Raid
Deaths and Entrances
Do not go gentle into that good night
Do you not father me
Ears in the turrets hear
Especially when the October wind
Fern Hill
Find meat on the bones
Foster the light
From love’s first fever
Grief thief of time
Here in this spring
Hold hard, these ancient minutes
Holy Spring
How shall my animal
How soon the servant sun
I dreamed my genesis
I fellowed sleep
If I were tickled by the rub of love
If my head hurt a hair’s foot
I have longed to move away
I, in my intricate image
I make this in a warring absence
Incarnate devil
In country Heaven
In Country Sleep
In my craft or sullen art
In the beginning
In the White Giant’s Thigh
Into her lying down head
I see the boys of summer
It is the sinners’ dust-tongued bell
lie still, sleep becalmed
Light breaks where no sun shines
Love in the Asylum
My hero bares his nerves
My world is pyramid
Not from this anger
O make me a mask
On a Wedding Anniversary
Once below a time
Once it was the colour of saying
On no work of words
On the Marriage of a Virgin
Our eunuch dreams
Out of the sighs
Over Sir John’s hill
Paper and sticks
Poem in October
Poem on his Birthday
Shall gods be said
Should lanterns shine
The conversation of prayers
The force that through the green fuse
The hand that signed the paper
The hunchback in the park
Then was my neophyte
There was a saviour
The seed-at-zero
The spire cranes
The tombstone told
This bread I break
This side of the truth
Today, this insect
To Others than You
Twenty-four years
Unluckily for a death
Vision and Prayer
Was there a time
We lying by seasand
When all my five and country senses
When I woke
When, like a running grave
When once the twilight locks
Where once the waters of your face
Why east wind chills

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