Notebook 4 2018-03-04T17:44:06+00:00

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  • When and where it was first published: Dylan Thomas: The Notebook Poems 1930-1934, edited by Ralph Maud (1989). Currently out of print.
  • 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:
    Let for one moment a faith statement
    Rule the blank sheet of sleep,
    The virgin lines be mated with a circle.
    A circle spins. Let each revolving spoke
    Turn and churn nightseed till it curdle.
  • Further information: Dedicated to Dylan’s friend T.H., Trevor Hughes.
  • 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:
    You are the ruler of this realm of flesh,
    And this hill of bone and hair
    Moves to the Mahomet of your hand.
    But all this land gives off a charnel stench,
    The wind smacks of the poor
    Dumb dead the crannies house and hide.
  • When and where it was first published: Swansea and West Wales Guardian, 8 June 1934 as revised version.
  • 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:
    That the sum sanity might add to nought
    And matrons ring the harebells on their lips,
    Girls woo the weather through the Sabbath night
    And rock twin floods upon their starry laps.
  • Further information: This poem was rewritten outside of the notebook.
  • When and where it was first published: Dylan Thomas: The Notebook Poems 1930-1934, edited by Ralph Maud (1989). Currently out of print.
  • 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 see the rise the secret wind behind the brain,
    The spin of light sit on the eyes,
    The code of stars translate in heaven.
    A secret night descends between
    The skull, the cells, the cabinet ears
    Holding for ever the dead moon.
  • When and where it was first published: Dylan Thomas: The Notebook Poems 1930-1934, edited by Ralph Maud (1989). Currently out of print.
  • Where you can find it now: Dylan Thomas, The Notebook Poems, 1930-1934, edited by Ralph Maud (1989). Currently out of print.
  • Excerpt:
    Take the needles and the knives,
    Put an iron at the eyes,
    Let a maggot at the ear
    Toil away till music dies.
  • Further information: This poem is likely to have been influenced by his father’s treatment with radium needles for cancer.
  • When and where it was first published: The Poems, edited by Daniel Jones (1971). Currently out of print.
  • 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:
    Not forever shall the lord of the red hail
    Hold in his velvet hand the can of blood;
    He shall be wise and let his brimstone spill,
    Free from their burning nests the arrows’ brood.
  • Further information: This poem was dedicated to B.C, who has not been identified.
  • 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 sun burns the morning, a bush in the brain;
    Moon walks the river and raises the dead;
    Here in my wilderness wanders the blood;
    And sweat on the brow makes a sign,
    And the wailing heart’s nailed to the side.
  • When and where it was first published: Sunday Referee, 7 January 1934 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:
    Love me, not as the dreamy nurses
    My falling lungs, nor as the cypress
    In his age the lass’s clay.
    Love me and lift your mask.
  • Further information: Possibly written with Pamela Hansford Johnson, Dylan’s first girlfriend, (yet to meet) in mind.
  • 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:
    For loss of blood I fell where stony hills
    Had milk and honey flowing from their cracks,
    And where the footed dew was on the pools
    I knelt to drink the water dry as sticks.
  • Further information: Dylan notes, ‘In three parts’. Part one is poem ‘seventeen’, part two is poem ‘eighteen’ and part three is poem ‘nineteen’. They were typed up together under the title, ‘Jack of Christ’, except for the last few verses.
  • When and where it was first published: Twenty-five Poems (1936), as 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:
    Jack my father, let the knaves
    Fill with swag of bubbles their sad sacks,
    No fingers press their fingers on the wax
    Red as the axe, blue as a hanging man.
  • Further information: Dylan notes, ‘In three parts’. Part one is poem ‘seventeen’, part two is poem ‘eighteen’ and part three is poem ‘nineteen’. They were typed up together under the title, ‘Jack of Christ’, except for the last few verses. Part of this poem appears as the opening of the second part of ‘Grief thief of time’ in Twenty-five Poems (1936) and Dylan’s Collected Poems (1952), as well as some parts of notebook 4, poem ‘five’.
  • 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 girl, unlacing, trusts her breast,
    Doubts not its tint nor how it leans;
    Faith in her flesh maintains its shape
    From toe to head.
  • Further information: Dylan notes, ‘In three parts’. Part one is poem ‘seventeen’, part two is poem ‘eighteen’ and part three is poem ‘nineteen’.
  • 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:
    Through these lashed rings set deep inside their hollows
    I eye the ring on earth, the airy circle,
    My Maker’s flesh that garments my playfellows.
    And through these trembling rings set in their valley.
  • 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:
    Ape and ass both spit me forth,
    I am spawn of leech and frog;
    Crawling from the serpent’s egg
    I am born to breed and breathe.
  • Further information: Incomplete poem.
  • When and where it was first published: Sunday Referee, 29 October 1933 and 18 Poems (1934) , as slightly 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 slightly revised version, and Dylan Thomas: The Notebook Poems 1930-1934, edited by Ralph Maud (1989). Currently out of print.
  • Excerpt:
    The force that through the green fuse drives the flower
    Drives my green age, that blasts the roots of trees
    Is my destroyer.
    And am I dumb to tell the crookèd rose
    My youth is bent by the same wintry fever.
  • Further information: This poem is dedicated to E.P, possibly Dylan’s friend, Evelyn Phillips. It was the poem that helped Dylan win the book prize which resulted in his first book publication. Slightly amended for publication. It was collected in 18 Poems (1934) 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 almanac of time hangs in the brain;
    The seasons numbered by the inward sun,
    The winter years, move in the pit of man;
    His graph is measured as the page of pain
    Shifts to the red wombed pen.
  • When and where it was first published: The Criterion, October 1934 and 18 Poems (1934) revised as ‘From love’s first fever to her plague’.
  • 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 from the first declension of the flesh
    I learn man’s tongue, to twist the shapes of thoughts
    Into the stony idiom of the brain,
    To shade and knit anew the patch of words
    Left by the dead who, in their moonless acre,
    Need no word’s warmth.
  • Further information: Parts were deleted and then combined with poem ‘Twenty Four’ under the title ‘From love’s first fever to her plague’. It was collected in 18 Poems (1934) 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:
    All that I owe the fellows of the grave
    And all the dead bequeath from pale estates
    Lies in the fortuned bone, the flask of blood,
    Like senna stirs along the ravaged roots.
  • Further information: A line from this poem was used in ‘ I dreamed a genesis’ of 18 Poems 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:
    Here lies the beasts of man and here I feast,
    The dead man said,
    And silently I milk the devil’s breast.

  • 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:
    Your pain shall be a music in your string
    And fill the mouths of heaven with your tongue
    Your pain shall be
    O my unborn
    A vein of mine
    Made fast by me.