Dylan’s adolescent years were a time of incredible creativity, and between the ages of 15 and 20 he played with words and phrases and produced hundreds of poems, including some of his most famous, such as And Death Shall Have No Dominion, The Hunchback in the Park and The Force That Through the Green Fuse. Forty of these poems were included in full in subsequent collections, though many ideas and phrases are once again used in future poems.   Many of these poems are still in print in both The Collected Poems of Dylan Thomas, The New Centenary Edition, edited by John Goodby (2014) and The Dylan Thomas Omnibus, both published by Orion.  All the poems from the notebooks listed below can be found in The Notebook Poems 1930-1934, edited by Ralph Maud, though this is currently out of print.


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Notebook one

From April 27 1930 – December 1930.

This notebook is mainly free verse.  It includes a poem called, ‘How shall the animal’ which was a very early version of ‘How shall my animal’ from Twenty-five Poems (1936).

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Notebook two

From December 1930 – July 1932.

In Notebook two, Dylan begins to experiment with rhyme.  ‘Out of sighs’ and ‘Today, this insect’ from Dylan’s second collection, Twenty-five Poems (1936), originate in this notebook, as does ‘The spire cranes’ from The Map of Love (1939) and ‘The hunchback in the park’ in Deaths and Entrances (1946).

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Notebook three

From February 1933 – August 1933.

This notebook is where Dylan began to developed his unique style.  Seventeen of these poems appear in his later collections, nine in Twenty-five Poems (1936),  six in The Map of Love (1939) and two in Deaths and Entrances (1946).

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Notebook four

From August 1933 – April 1934.

Thirteen of the eighteen poems in Dylan’s first collection, 18 Poems came from this notebook, and five more appear in his second collection, Twenty-five Poems (1936). 

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