A Third Dwelling on the Road to Llareggub. Guest blog by David N Thomas

By |2020-04-08T12:16:49+01:00August 9th, 2018|Guest Blog|

Dylan Thomas’ Lancashire Loves: Tripe and Onions and T. Thompson I recently received an email from a pianist in Illinois, who was researching her family tree, having being told she might be related to Dylan Thomas. Her great-grandparents had come from Carmarthenshire but her grandmother had been born in Liverpool, so she wanted to know [...]

Two Dwellings on the Road to Llareggub. Guest blog by David N. Thomas

By |2020-04-08T12:16:49+01:00June 9th, 2018|Guest Blog|

First Dwelling: From Lady Cholmondeley to Jack the Donkeyman It was several months before I heard from Dai Cwc again. He chided me for ending my last blog in such a tantalising way. Who was this ‘distinguished son’ of Wales? Where exactly was his country home? And what did he or it have to do [...]

My Son Dylan: Florence Thomas in conversation with Colin Edwards

By |2020-04-08T12:16:50+01:00April 30th, 2018|Guest Blog|

As we have just passed the birthday on April 28 of Dylan’s mother, Florence, it’s timely to wonder just what she made of her famous son. In July 1958, she invited the radio journalist, Colin Edwards, to travel to Laugharne to take tea with her. She encouraged Edwards to write about the “real Dylan, the [...]

As Easy As Pie: Mab Jones on how to create a great #LovetheWords entry

By |2020-04-08T12:16:50+01:00April 5th, 2018|Guest Blog|

As Easy As Pie! How to Make a Great Simile for Your #LovetheWords Entry This year, we want everyone to ‘Love the Words’ (a direct quote from Hannah’s grandad, Dylan Thomas) by pitching in to help create the world’s longest love poem! When I say ‘we’, I perhaps mean ‘me’, really… As I am a poet who organises poetry events and poetic happenings and poet-ish projects, and this has been one I’ve wanted to run / do / attempt for quite a few years now. At first, I thought it would be interesting to try for the world’s longest poem: but, after a little research, I realised that this would be too difficult. The longest poem on record is the Mahābhārata, and it is 1.8 million words in length! Far easier, then, is longest love poem. The current record is held by London’s Rajinder Tumber, and it is 2,413 words long. Sorry, Rajinder, but I thinkwe are going to beat you on that one! Not that I want to hurt anyone’s feelings… But the writing, in this case, is as much about quantity as it is about quality, really! Love is a great topic which has inspired poets since the dawn of versification itself, of course: but, how do we get the quality into our poem? What poetic techniques or devices can we use, here? In the original call out for lines of verse, several suggested prompts (line beginnings) were given. Love is… Love isn’t… Love is like… Love is as ________ as.... Love can.... Love makes me… ‘Love is like…’ and ‘Love is as ________ as....’ are examples of similes. Similes are sentences in which one thing is compared to another. Some famous similes are ‘as thin as a rake’, ‘as old as the hills’, ‘as good as gold’, and so on. These similes are so well-worn that they have become clichéd. Cliché isn’t good in a poem, because poetry is about surprising people and making them think / feel, and we tend not to think about the imagery held within a cliché because is so familiar (and, therefore, boring!). So, try to think of something new and surprising to compare love to. How do you do this, then? Well, if it was me, I would take a look around the room or space I was in, and start to compare love to everyday things that happened to be about me. Then, I would think hard about finding a way to make that comparison work. Some of these comparisons will work, and some won’t. It really doesn’t matter if your simile doesn’t work, though, you can always try again. Also please remember that poetry isn’t about being right, it’s about exploring language and ideas. It’s about having fun and playing with words, like Dylan did! If I look around myself at the moment, then, the first thing I see is my wood burning stove. So, here’s my simile: Love is like a wood burning stove. Easy! But now I will explore this idea a little more, and that’s the tricky part… Let me think… How about: Love is like a wood burning stove. It transforms dry, dead matter into lively, living flame. It warms the whole room and gives heat and heart to everyone it touches. I think this is pretty okay! What do you think? Let’s try again. The next thing I see around me is a pen (poets love pens!). So, my simile is: Love is as ________ as a pen. But, what is a pen like? There are lots of words I could put into the blank space above. Let me think… I need to make sure that whatever word I choose will be easy to expand upon afterwards. How about: Love is as careful as a pen, tracing a line between points, from me, to you, and back again. It writes something lovely, which can never be erased. How’s that? Or maybe: Love is as blue as a pen, spilling its lonely ink over the cold white page, a never-ending sentence which leads the reader nowhere. Brr! That one feel a lot different to the first one, doesn’t it? Even though some similes / comparisons are challenging to create and to expand upon, it’s really worth trying to write quite a few similes, even for the same object (in this case, the pen), and to play around with different ways of completing and expanding on that. After you are done, I recommend to read your completed line aloud, to yourself or to a friend. Does it feel happy, sad, angry, or something else? Does it make love sound, well, lovely, or does it make it seem like some kind of disease?!?! As a poet, the feeling your writing creates is entirely up to you, because that is your own personal viewpoint. But, whatever the emotion of your simile, if the comparison you make is surprising and interesting, then you have written a great line of poetry. Well done indeed! So, send your line (or lines! Feel free to write more if you feel inspired) to us via social media, and help us create the longest love poem, please! International Dylan Thomas day is on Facebook and on Twitter, and you can share your line(s) of poetry through either of these by using the hashtags #LovetheWords AND #DylanDay in order to take part. Please include your name, age, and country of origin, if you can, also! The competition closes on Friday May 4 at midnight, and the completed love poem will then be shared online on the Discover Dylan Thomas website on Dylan Day itself, which is May 14. Feel free to contact me personally at intdylanthomasday@gmail.com if you have any questions at all. But, hopefully, this activity will be as easy as pie…. Happy poem-ing! Mab Jones

A unique and tender account of life in the “seashaken house on a breakneck of rocks”: A review of My Father’s Places by Aeronwy Thomas. Guest blog from Josh Brown.

By |2020-04-08T12:16:50+01:00November 27th, 2017|Guest Blog|

Of the many books I have read about Dylan Thomas, ‘My Father’s Places’ by his daughter Aeronwy, Hannah’s late mother, is undoubtedly one of the finest, being not only a valuable biography/autobiography but also an excellent work of literature. It is wonderfully well written, describing scenes and stories from the poet’s tempestuous life with a [...]

From Cheltenham to Mariposa: A wander along the road to Llareggub. Guest blog by David N Thomas.

By |2020-04-08T12:16:51+01:00October 9th, 2017|Guest Blog|

  Not so long ago, I had an email from Dai Cwc, who’d been at school with me in Port Talbot. He’d been reading my last blog on the Majoliers, Caitlin’s literary rellies. “How come you got to kiss Liz Taylor in the Aberavon club house?” “You remember my uncle Arth?” I asked. “He was [...]

Minstrel Mermaid of a Town: Dylan Thomas and the Festival Of Britain

By |2020-04-08T12:16:51+01:00May 15th, 2017|Guest Blog|

This blog was originally written for Historic England. International Dylan Thomas Day is celebrated on May 14th, commemorating the life and work of the Welsh poet. To mark this, Andrew Dally of dylanthomasnews.com introduces us to Dylan Thomas’s link to the Festival of Britain. In the spring of 1951, at the height of his broadcasting [...]

Guest Blog: Poetics in the fiction of Dylan Thomas by Ray Greenblatt

By |2020-04-08T12:16:52+01:00March 6th, 2017|Guest Blog|

  Dylan Thomas  wrote this collection of ten short stories in 1940. The characters from A Child’s Christmas in Wales (1952) are here but more fleshed out: Dan Jenkins (“The Fight”), Jack Williams (“Peaches”), the Protheros (“Old Garbo”). And Thomas’ poetic style is revealed in the prose as well: vivid imagery, alliteration, purposeful run-on lines, [...]

Ugly, Lovely: a pictorial journey through Dylan Thomas’s Swansea and Carmarthenshire. Guest blog by Hilly Janes

By |2020-04-08T12:16:52+01:00December 12th, 2016|Guest Blog|

A recently-discovered archive of 1950s photographs of the places Dylan Thomas wove into his work is the basis of a new book, Ugly, Lovely - Dylan Thomas’s Swansea and Carmarthenshire of the 1950s in Pictures (Parthian Books). Its editor, Hilly Janes, describes how she discovered them in an old cardboard box...   They must have [...]

Mocking Mussolini and other Fascists: how Dylan Thomas responded to the rise of the far right. Guest blog by Dr. Paul Jackson

By |2020-04-08T12:16:52+01:00December 5th, 2016|Guest Blog|

Dylan Thomas is not usually thought about as a particular political writer. For those who know his life and his work, clearly Dylan was left wing, and had various Communist and Marxist friends. Politics was not at the forefront of his aesthetic style though, unlike some other writers and artists of the 1930s, and most [...]