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  • When and where it was first published: Dylan Thomas: The Notebook Poems 1930-1934, edited by Ralph Maud (1989).
  • Where you can find it now: Dylan Thomas: The Notebook Poems 1930-1934, edited by Ralph Maud (1989). Currently out of print.
  • Excerpt:
    Sweet as the comets’ kiss night sealed
    New faith, and dark the new friend fell,
    With an ease and a smoothness
    I knew of old,
    Irregular cries in the wind
    Meaning no more than before, but with peace.
  • When and where it was first published: Dylan Thomas: The Notebook Poems 1930-1934, edited by Ralph Maud (1989).
  • Where you can find it now: Dylan Thomas: The Notebook Poems 1930-1934, edited by Ralph Maud (1989). Currently out of print.
  • Excerpt:
    It is death though I have died
    Many deaths, and have risen again
    With an unhealed wound and a cracked heart.
  • Further information: ‘I dreamed a genesis’ of 18 Poems (1934), is very much like this poem.
  • When and where it was first published: Dylan Thomas: The Notebook Poems 1930-1934, edited by Ralph Maud (1989).
  • Where you can find it now: Dylan Thomas:The Notebook Poems 1930-1934, edited by Ralph Maud (1989). Currently out of print.
  • Excerpt:
    Had she not loved me at the beginning
    There would have been no beginning,
    Life in my mouth would not have tasted surely,
    I would have not gone up to the places of angels.
  • When and where it was first published: Dylan Thomas: The Notebook Poems 1930-1934, edited by Ralph Maud (1989).
  • Where you can find it now: The Collected Poems of Dylan Thomas, The New Centenary edition, edited by John Goodby (2014) and Dylan Thomas: The Notebook Poems 1930-1934, edited by Ralph Maud (1989). Currently out of print.
  • Excerpt:
    Before the gas fades with a harsh last bubble,
    And the hunt in the hatstand discovers no coppers,
    Before the last fag and the shirt sleeves and slippers,
    The century’s trap will have snapped round your middle.
  • Further information: The poem is likely to have been influenced by the great depression which caused mass unemployment across Wales. Dylan would have observed this while working for a Swansea newspaper during his teenage years.
  • When and where it was first published:
  • Where you can find it now: The Collected Poems of Dylan Thomas, The New Centenary Edition, edited by John Goodby (2014) and Dylan Thomas: The Notebook Poems 1930-1934, edited by Ralph Maud (1989). Currently out of print.
  • Excerpt:
    ‘We who were young are old.
    It is the oldest cry.
    Age sours before youth’s tasted in mouth
    And any sweetness that it hath
    Is sucked away’.
  • Further information: The deleted last line of this poem became the final section of notebook 3, poem ‘nine’ which Dylan also referred to as ‘Conclusion to poem 7’.
  • When and where it was first published: Dylan Thomas: The Notebook Poems 1930-1934, edited by Ralph Maud (1989).
  • Where you can find it now: Dylan Thomas: The Notebook Poems 1930-1934, edited by Ralph Maud (1989). Currently out of print.
  • Excerpt: Conclusion of Poem Seven
    No faith to fix the teeth on carries
    Men old before their time into dark valleys
    Where death lies dead asleep, one bright eye open,
    No faith to sharpen the old wits leaves us.
    Meaning no more than before, but with peace.
  • Further information: Dylan talks about extensive and global suffering in this poem.
  • When and where it was first published: Dylan Thomas: The Notebook Poems 1930-1934, edited by Ralph Maud (1989)
  • Where you can find it now: The Collected Poems of Dylan Thomas, The New Centenary Edition, edited by John Goodby (2014) and Dylan Thomas: The Notebook Poems 1930-1934, edited by Ralph Maud (1989). Currently out of print.
  • Excerpt:
    In wasting one drop from the heart’s honey cells,
    One precious drop that, for the moment, quells
    Desire’s pain, eases love’s itch and ills,
    There’s less remains, for only once love fills,
    When love’s mouth knows its greatest thirst.
  • Further information: Dylan warns the reader not to love too early before they know what ‘real’ love is.
  • When and where it was first published: Dylan Thomas: The Notebook Poems 1930-1934, edited by Ralph Maud (1989)
  • Where you can find it now: Dylan Thomas: The Notebook Poems 1930-1934, edited by Ralph Maud (1989). Currently out of print.
  • Excerpt:
    when all the fever of the August months,
    The winter convalescence,
    In this damned world there’s little to moan over
    But the passing of the one and the coming of the other.
  • When and where it was first published: Dylan Thomas: The Notebook Poems 1930-1934, edited by Ralph Maud (1989).
  • Where you can find it now: The Collected Poems of Dylan Thomas, The New Centenary Edition, edited by John Goodby (2014) and Dylan Thomas: The Notebook Poems 1930-1934, edited by Ralph Maud (1989). Currently out of print.
  • Excerpt:
    Their faces shone under some radiance
    Of mingled moonlight and lamplight
    That turned the empty kisses into meaning,
    The island of such penny love.
  • Further information: Dylan deleted the original title ‘In Hyde Park’.
  • When and where was it first published: Part of the poem (except lines.31-58) in Herald of Wales on 8 June 1935 and collected in The Poems, edited by Daniel Jones (1971).
  • Where you can find it now: The Collected Poems of Dylan Thomas, The New Centenary Edition, edited by John Goodby (2014) and Dylan Thomas: The Notebook Poems 1930-1934, edited by Ralph Maud (1989). Currently out of print.
  • Excerpt:
    See, on gravel pathfinder the hairspring trees,
    He steps so near the water that a swan’s wing
    Might play upon his lank locks with its wind,
    The lake’s voice and the rolling of mock waves
    Make discord with the voice within his ribs
    That thunders as heart thunders, slaws as heart slows.
  • Further information: When giving the broadcast, ‘Reminiscences of Childhood’, Dylan read the last line of this poem as an example of poetry never to be published. A little ‘white lie’ for effect as it was published in the Herald of Wales.
  • When and where it was first published:Dylan Thomas: The Notebook Poems 1930-1934, edited by Ralph Maud (1989)
  • Where you can find it now: Dylan Thomas: The Notebook Poems 1930-1934, edited by Ralph Maud (1989). Currently out of print.
  • Excerpt:
    To follow the fox at the hounds’ tails
    At at their baying move a tailor’s inch
    To follow, wild as the chicken stealer,
    Scent through the clutches of the heather,
    Leads to fool’s paradise where the redecorated killer
    Deserves no brush, but a fool’s ambush,
    Broken flank or head-on crash.
  • When and where was it first published: The Poems, edited by Daniel Jones (1971).
  • Where you can find it now: The Collected Poems of Dylan Thomas, The New Centenary Edition, edited by John Goodby (2014) and Dylan Thomas: The Notebook Poems 1930-1934, edited by Ralph Maud (1989). Currently out of print.
  • Excerpt:
    The ploughman’s gone, the handsome driver,
    Left in the records of living a not-to-bd-broken picture,
    In sun and rain working for good and gain,
    Left only the voice in the old village choir
    To remember, cast stricture on mechanics and man.
  • When and where it was first published: Dylan Thomas: The Notebook Poems 1930-1934, edited by Ralph Maud (1989).
  • Where you can find it now: Dylan Thomas: The Notebook Poems 1930-1934, edited by Ralph Maud (1989). Currently out of print.
  • Excerpt:
    Light, I know, treads the ten million stars,
    And blooms in the Hesperides. Light stirs
    Out of the heavenly sea onto the moon’s shores.
  • When and where it was first published: Dylan Thomas: The Notebook Poems 1930-1934, edited by Ralph Maud (1989).
  • Where you can find it now: Dylan Thomas: The Notebook Poems 1930-1934, edited by Ralph Maud (1989). Currently out of print.
  • Excerpt:
    My body knows its wants that, often high
    As a high cloud attendant on the sun,
    Or small as the small globes of the dew,
    Defy the trying of a host of men
    Who cannot satisfy, might satisfy the sky
    As easily, or cut the moon in two.
  • Further information: A number of lines from this poem were included in other poems: ‘To others than you’, published in Deaths and Entrances and ‘And death shall have no dominion’, published in Twenty-five Poems. Both were chosen to be included in Dylan’s Collected Poems.
  • When and where was it first published: New English Weekly, 18 May 1933 and Twenty-five Poems (1936), as the February 1936 revised version.
  • Where you can find it now: The Collected Poems of Dylan Thomas, The New Centenary Edition, edited by John Goodby (2014), as the revised version, and Dylan Thomas: The Notebook Poems 1930-1934, edited by Ralph Maud (1989). Currently out of print.
  • Excerpt:
    And death shall have no dominion.
    Man, with soul naked, shall be one
    With the man in the wind and the west moon,
    With the harmonious thunder of the sun;
    When his bones are picked clean and the clean bones gone,
    He shall have stars at elbow and foot;
    Though he fall mad he shall be sane,
    And though he drown he shall rise again;
    Though lovers be lost, love shall not;
    And death shall have no dominion.

  • Further information: The theme of this poem is immortality. Dylan changed the wording from Romans 6:9 to use in this poem. It has regular rhymed stanzas. This was Dylan’s first poem to be published in a London based journal. Revised in February 1936, it was published in Twenty-five Poems (1936) and Dylan’s Collected Poems (1952)
  • When and where it was first published: New English Weekly, 25 January 1934.
  • Where you can find it now:  Dylan Thomas: The Notebook Poems 1930-1934, edited by Ralph Maud (1989). Currently out of print.
  • Excerpt:
    Within the head revolved a little world
    Where wheels, Confusing music, confused doubts,
    Rolled down all images into the pits
    Where half dead vanities were sleeping curled
    Like cats, and lusts lay half hot in the cold.
  • Further information: This poem had the title, ‘Out of the pit’ when it was published.
  • When and where was it first published: Poetry (Chicago), August 1938 and The Map of Love (1939), as the 1938 revised version.
  • Where you can find it now: The Collected Poems of Dylan Thomas, The New Centenary Edition, edited by John Goodby (2014), as the revised version, and Dylan Thomas: The Notebook Poems 1930-1934, edited by Ralph Maud (1989). Currently out of print.
  • Excerpt:
    Not from this anger, anticlimax after
    Refusal struck her face, a clap of laughter,
    And smiles sucked out the humour from her offer,
    Shall she receive a bellyful of stones,
    Nor from surprise at what turned out
    Wrong choice, later, in the honked night,
    Shall sin amuse her limbs, and hands
    Leap over the barbed lands.

  • Further information: The revised version of this poem, dated January 1938, (with a few extra edits) was published as ‘Not from this anger’ in The Map of Love (1939) and Dylan’s Collected Poems (1952)
  • When and where it was first published: Dylan Thomas: The Notebook Poems 1930-1934, edited by Ralph Maud (1989).
  • Where you can find it now: Dylan Thomas: The Notebook Poems 1930-1934, edited by Ralph Maud (1989). Currently out of print.
  • Excerpt:
    The first ten years in school and park
    Leapt like a ball from light to dark,
    Bogies scared from landing and corner,
    Leapt on the bed, but now I’ve sterner
    Stuff inside, dole for no work’s
    No turnip ghost now I’m no minor.
  • When and where it was first published: Dylan Thomas: The Notebook Poems 1930-1934, edited by Ralph Maud (1989).
  • Where you can find it now: Dylan Thomas: The Notebook Poems 1930-1934, edited by Ralph Maud (1989). Currently out of print.
  • Excerpt:
    Pass through twelve stages, reach the fifth
    By retrograde moving from near death,
    And puberty recoils at callow youth
    Knowing such stuff as will confuse
    That phantom in the loss, used to misuse,
    Red rims, a little learning, and calf sense.
  • When and where it was first published: Dylan Thomas: The Notebook Poems 1930-1934, edited by Ralph Maud (1989).
  • Where you can find it now: Dylan Thomas: The Notebook Poems 1930-1934, edited by Ralph Maud (1989). Currently out of print.
  • Excerpt:
    From there was the lamb on knocking knee,
    The ousel and the maniac greens of spring;
    I caught on yard of canvas inch of wing,
    Kingfisher’s, gull’s swooping feather and bone,
    Goodnight and goodmorning of moon and sun;
    First there was the lamb which grew a sheep.

  • Further information: ‘Altarwise by owl-light’ of Twenty-five Poems and Dylan’s Collected Poems includes a few lines from this poem. This was rewritten in 1934 as ‘First I knew the lamb on knocking knees’ which is at the British Library.
  • When and where was it first published: Sunday Referee, 11 August 1935 and Twenty-five Poems (1936), as the 1935/6 revised version.
  • Where you can find it now: The Collected Poems of Dylan Thomas, The New Centenary Edition, edited by John Goodby (2014), as the revised version, and Dylan Thomas: The Notebook Poems 1930-1934, edited by Ralph Maud (1989). Currently out of print.
  • Excerpt:
    Incarnate devil in a talking snake,
    When god incarnate walked the garden,
    Some sunless time when we were half awake,
    Proffered in wind and leaf forbidden fruits,
    Spoke evil with its scales.
  • Further information: ‘Before We Sinned’ was the original title of this poem though when published in the Sunday Referee it had not only been revised but had a new title ‘Poem for Sunday’. A few more revisions were done on 20 January 1936 and it was then published as ‘Incarnate Devil’ in Twenty-five Poems (1936) and Dylan’s Collected Poems (1952)
  • When and where it was first published: Dylan Thomas: The Notebook Poems 1930-1934, edited by Ralph Maud (1989)
  • Where you can find it now: Dylan Thomas: The Notebook Poems 1930-1934, edited by Ralph Maud (1989). Currently out of print.
  • Excerpt:
    Now understand a tate of being, heaven
    A state of being unbound by traitor senses,
    Transforming to a thought that shapes it,
    Ready for him who hates or rapes it,
    Cool as ice, hot as an oven.
  • When and where it was first published: Dylan Thomas: The Notebook Poems 1930-1934, Edited by Ralph Maud (1989)
  • Where you can find it now: Dylan Thomas: The Notebook Poems 1930-1934, edited by Ralph Maud (1989). Currently out of print.
  • Excerpt:
    Interrogating smile has spoken death
    To every day since I lay dumb
    Upon a black lap in a swaddling cloth,
    Pierced me with pain another knew.
  • When and where was it first published: Adelphi, September 1933.
  • Where you can find it now: The Collected Poems of Dylan Thomas, The New Centenary Edition, edited by John Goodby (2014) and Dylan Thomas: The Notebook Poems 1930-1934, edited by Ralph Maud (1989). Currently out of print.
  • Excerpt:
    No man believes who, when a star falls shot,
    Cries not aloud blind as a bat,
    Cries not in terror when a bird is drawn
    Into the quicksand feathers down,
    Who does not make a wound in faith
    When any light goes out, and life is death.
  • When and where it was first published: Dylan Thomas: The Notebook Poems 1930-1934, edited by Ralph Maud (1989)
  • Where you can find it now: Dylan Thomas: The Notebook Poems 1930-1934, edited by Ralph Maud (1989). Currently out of print.
  • Excerpt:
    When I lie in my bed and the moon lies in hers,
    And when neither of us can sleep
    For the brotherly wind and the noise of the stars,
    And the motherless cries of the sheep,
    I think of a night when the owl is still.

  • Further information: This poem and the title ‘Children’s song’ was crossed out in the notebook. It was dedicated to P.T, possibly Bert Trick’s daughter Pamela, who also has a connection with poem number ‘thirty-seven’. It has a similar tone to ‘In Country Sleep’, written for Dylan’s own daughter, Aeronwy.
  • When and where it was first published: Dylan Thomas: The Notebook Poems 1930-1934, edited by Ralph Maud (1989).
  • Where you can find it now: Dylan Thomas: The Notebook Poems 1930-1934, edited by Ralph Maud (1989). Currently out of print.
  • Excerpt:
    This is remembered when the hairs drop out:
    Love, like a stone, that struck and hurt;
    And promise in the night.
    When rheum around the eyes blind sight
    This is remembered: the winy wood
    Where a wild pig sprang on its mate;
    The smelling of roses; the first cigarette;
    The first womb; the brain is heir to
    The first attacking shot.
  • When and where it was first published: Dylan Thomas: The Notebook Poems 1930-1934, edited by Ralph Maud (1989).
  • Where you can find it now: Dylan Thomas: The Notebook Poems 1930-1934, Edited by Ralph Maud (1989). Currently out of print.
  • Excerpt:
    In me ten paradoxes make one truth,
    Ten twining roots meet twining in the earth
    To make one root that never strangles light
    By thrusting a green shrub from underneath;
    And never shall the truth translate.
  • When and where was it first published: Herald of Wales, 15 July 1933 and The Poems, edited by Daniel Jones (1971).
  • Where you can find it now: The Collected Poems of Dylan Thomas, The New Centenary Edition, edited by John Goodby (2014) and Dylan Thomas: The Notebook Poems 1930-1934, edited by Ralph Maud (1989). Currently out of print.
  • Excerpt: After the performance of Sophocles’ Electra in a garden. Written for a local paper.
    A woman wails her dead among the trees
    Under the green roof grieves the living;
    The living sun laments the dying skies,
    Lamenting falls. Pity Electra loving.
  • Further information: This poem is based on a open-air performance of ‘Electra’ in a garden in Sketty, Swansea. Dylan refers to it again in his BBC broadcast, ‘Return Journey’ and in the story, ‘The Mouse and the Woman’.
  • When and where it was first published: Dylan Thomas: The Notebook Poems 1930-1934, edited by Ralph Maud (1989).
  • Where you can find it now: Dylan Thomas: The Notebook Poems 1930-1934, edited by Ralph Maud (1989). Currently out of print.
  • Excerpt:
    A praise of acid or a chemist’s lotion
    Waiting and willing on an elbow rest,
    Resound and stick a needle of vibration
    Through death’s wax!
  • When and where it was first published: Dylan Thomas: The Notebook Poems 1930-1934, edited by Ralph Maud (1989).
  • Where you can find it now: Dylan Thomas: The Notebook Poems 1930-1934, edited by Ralph Maud (1989). Currently out of print.
  • Excerpt:
    Too many times my same sick cry
    Has rattled in a bag of words,
    Too many times new note I play
    Have struck the same sick chords.

  • When and where it was first published: Dylan Thomas: The Notebook Poems 1930-1934, edited by Ralph Maud (1989).
  • Where you can find it now: The Notebook Poems 1930-1934, edited by Ralph Maud (1989). Currently out of print.
  • Excerpt:
    We have the fairy tales by heart,
    No longer tremble at a bishop’s hat,
    And thunder’s first note;
    We have these little things of pat,
    Avoid church as a rot.

  • When and where was it first published: Adelphi, March 1934.
  • Where you can find it now: Dylan Thomas: The Notebook Poems 1930-1934, edited by Ralph Maud (1989). Currently out of print.
  • Excerpt: From A Play
    The Woman Speaks:
    No food suffices but the food of death;
    Sweet is the waxen blood, honey the falling flesh;
    There is no fountain springing from the earth
    Cool as the waxed fountains of the veins.
  • Further information: When published in the Adelphi, this poem was given the title ‘The woman speaks’.
This poem is believed to have been ‘That Sanity Kept‘ that was published in the Sunday Referee on the 03/09/1933.
  • When and where it was first published: Dylan Thomas: The Notebook Poems 1930-1934, edited by Ralph Maud (1989).
  • Where you can find it now: Dylan Thomas: The Notebook Poems 1930-1934, edited by Ralph Maud (1989). Currently out of print.
  • Excerpt:
    Let the brain bear the hammering,
    And heart the stabbing of the forks;
    The devil hammers hell out of the ribs,
    His playmates fork the skull.
  • When and where it was first published: Dylan Thomas: The Notebook Poems 1930-1934, edited by Ralph Maud (1989).
  • Where you can find it now: Dylan Thomas: The Notebook Poems 1930-1934, edited by Ralph Maud (1989). Currently out of print.
  • Excerpt:
    The minute is a prisoner in the hour,
    Lest brain keep watch will break its hours’ cell
    And play the truant in the den of days;
    But arrow-eyed my senses shall not lose,
    Nor sentinel my heart set free the frail
    First vision that set fire to the air.

  • Further information: Parts of this poem are used in ‘Love in the asylum’, published in Deaths and Entrances and Dylan’s Collected Poems.
  • When and where it was first published: Dylan Thomas: The Notebook Poems 1930-1934, edited by Ralph Maud (1989).
  • Where you can find it now: Dylan Thomas: The Notebook Poems 1930-1934, edited by Ralph Maud (1989). Currently out of print.
  • Excerpt:
    Matthias spat upon the lord
    And gained an everlasting curse;
    The Reverend Crap, pious fraud,
    Defiles his maker with a word
    Dropped from those educated jews.
  • Further information: It is thought that this poem was written as an angry response to a eulogy Dylan wrote for his retiring uncle, Reverend David Rees.