||[Mar. 16th, 2015|12:14 am]
My mind wanders and fails to tell my inattentive self where it has been. Maybe it is gathering revelations while I watch the ordinary world. Maybe someday it will reveal to me thoughts in the calls of birds and words on the wind. Or maybe it only dreams, while I remain here among the leaves and grass and flowers and their dust. I like to think that it has found secrets for which I am unready, but there is no certainty in that. It could be that it is merely absent, and someday will wander and not return while I fade like evening light. Should star emerge I'd like to be ready, but otherwise the lack of any surprise will not surprise me. The world is a strange place, but no stranger than myself, two places at once, each unknown in its own way. |
One of the Notebook Poems
by Dylan Thomas
I have come to catch your voice,
Your constructed notes going out of the throat
With dry, mechanical gestures,
To catch the shaft
Although it is so straight and unbending;
Then, when I open my mouth,
The light will come in an unwavering line.
Then to catch night
Wading through her dark cave on ferocious wings.
I have come to pluck you,
And take away your exotic plumage,
Although your anger is not a slight thing,
Take you into my own place
Where the frost can never fall,
Nor the petals of any flower drop.
I like your post better than the poem, though I usually love D.T. I've likely told you a million times that it was "Fern Hill" that revealed unto me, at age 16, what poetry could be. Oh yeah, we talked about loving words and the rhythms of words as opposed to dissecting "meaning." "Fern Hill" does it for me. This one I don't get at all. (It's not breakfast's mimosa talking, either -- that wore off already. *g*) What's he getting at here?
Beer should never be green, unless it's Tuborg, y/n?
(By the way, I have LJ icons of several poets, but you will never catch me with a Dylan Thomas icon. Even back when I was a girl learning to love poetry via his words, I thought he was gross. You needed to know that, y/n?)
Thomas began writing the notebook poems when he was fifteen and stopped when he was nineteen. Thereafter he drew on the notebooks for many of his published works, usually reworking the early poems. This one dates from 1930, the first year of the notebooks.
I'm not sure that even he knew just what he was saying at that point, or how to say it, but it strikes me as a terribly personal poem, full of undisciplined brilliance, and that's what appeals to me about it. That it was written by a fifteen year old kid makes it all the more interesting. To me the poem seems to be an invocation of the muse (though of a somewhat threatening tone,) and considering what he wrote later on it must have worked.
Dylan Thomas was definitely not a handsome guy, and as age and alcohol took their toll he did get a bit, well, yeah, gross. The earliest photo of him
I've seen looks to date from his late adolescence, and you can already see the outlines of his older self in it, but maybe he was one of those guys (like certain child actors) who was really cute as a little kid and got steadily homelier as he aged. If so, maybe that would, at least in part, account for the images of childhood perfection he evokes in Fern Hill. Maybe he was remembering the green and golden time before he looked like Dylan Thomas.
Oh, how interesting. I didn't know that about the notebook poems. Thank you!
I read something once, decades ago, about how he (and probably other European poets) would come to the US to read at colleges and other venues, taking advantage of the opportunity to seduce eager young female fans. That's likely what I had in mind when I broached the subject of his looks. I mean, gorgeous writing, but no thanks. ;)
I can (and do) recite tiny bits of Fern Hill to myself once in a while, because the phrases are rapturously beautiful. The foxes on the hills barked clear and cold, you know, and the sabbath rang slowly in the pebbles of the holy streams. *sigh*