October 07, 2005

Free Dylan! Dylan Thomas that is. On February 22, 1952, Dylan Thomas made his first recording for Caedmon Records, "A Child's Christmas in Wales and Five Poems." It was the first of many albums Thomas was to record for Caedmon and the recording not only launched Caedmon as a company, but initiated the spoken-word industry as well. Free via Salon

From the Wiki article: Dylan Thomas is widely considered one of the greatest 20th century poets writing in English, frequently mentioned alongside Frost, Yeats, and T. S. Eliot in lists of the century's most important poets. He remains the leading figure in Anglo-Welsh literature. His vivid and often fantastic imagery was a rejection of the trends in 20th Century verse: while his contemporaries gradually altered their writing to serious topical verse (political and social concerns were often expressed), Thomas gave himself over to his passionately felt emotions, and his writing is often both intensely personal and fiercely lyrical. Thomas, in many ways, was more in alignment with the Romantics than he was with the poets of his era (Auden and Eliot, to name but two). He is particularly remembered for the remarkable radio-play Under Milk Wood, for his poem "Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night," which is generally interpreted as a plea to his dying father to hold onto life, and for the short stories "A Child's Christmas in Wales." and "The Outing". G'wan. Get you some culture.

  • Cool. His short stories are great, and Under Milk Wood a classic. Great postage, Marquis de Squee.
  • Whoa, home run! Nice one Peteb. "A child's C in W" is one of my fave short stories.
  • Thanks, petebest! This is a good find.
  • I have it on good authority that Dylan Thomas really didn't write this and that someone else actually wrote all of the work attributed to Dylan Thomas.
  • Diolch yn fawr!
  • um, free to salon premium subscribers, i think. i just clicked through a stupid ad to end up at the salon home page. well worth downloading if you are a premium subscriber - dylan reads his own work very well
  • oops, my bad. once i'd watched the add and then returned to the main dylan page, i was able to download the file. thanks petebest!
  • I knew a man, his brain was so small, He couldn't think of nothing at all. He's not the same as you and me. He doesn't dig poetry. He's so unhip that When you say Dylan, he thinks you're talking about Dylan Thomas, Whoever he was. The man ain't got no culture.
  • Fishermen grumble to their nets. Nogood Boyo goes out in the dinghy Zanzibar, ships the oars, drifts slowly in the dab-filled bay, and, lying on his back in the unbaled water, among crabs' legs and tangled lines, looks up at the spring sky. "I don't know who's up there, and I don't care".
  • "Apart from just one poem, 'The Hunchback in the Park', which distinguishes itself from all the rest of his poetic output by not being about him, and isolated lines from other poems... ...he strikes me as a very bad poet indeed, or else a brilliant one in a mode that is anathema to me. Either way, he is a pernicious figure, one who has helped to get Wales and Welsh poetry a bad name and generally done lasting harm to both. The general picture he draws of the place and the people, in 'Under Milk Wood' and elsewhere, is false, sentimentalising, melodramatising, sensationalising, ingratiating." - Kingsley Amis. Just injecting a healthy dissident note. Nice post!
  • *notes to serve Pleggy the lower shelf brands* ;)
  • My first girlfriend played me a record of Thomas reading Fern Hill way back when. Hadn't heard it since but remembered it fondly. I'm happy to say it still gives me shivers. Incidentally, for those who don't care to sit through the ad, or have browser troubles like I did, you can actually download the stuff directly without any hoohah: disc one, disc two, and after that just increment the number in the url this one goesto eleven.
  • Kingsley Amis was a miserable old cunt wasn't he?
  • > Kingsley Amis was a miserable old cunt wasn't he? yep, and he had perhaps one quarter the talent of thomas, possibly less.
  • Bah, time and the crabs and the sweethearting crib would leave me cold as butter for the flies.
  • Even when he tried to write prose, he didn't. He couldn't. Picked at random from Dylan Thomas: The Collected Stories: The dust lay thick on their black boots, on old Vole's beard it scraped, grey as water, between the ginger and the white; it drifted over Miss Myfanwy's patent boots and was lost in the cracks of her feet. For a minute they stood trembling at the height of the hills. Then they adjusted their hats. One behind the other they climbed upward, very far from the stars. The roots beneath their feet cried in the voices of the upspringing trees. It was to each member of the expedition a strange and a different voice that sounded along the branches.
  • I can believe it. One of the tracks on that first CD seems to be completely improvised speech he gives in-between poems and yet it trips, tickles, bumbles and soars for twelve or more minutes in a rich baritone. Fasckinatin' sez I.
  • The Sound of Pound . . . because we don't have an Ezra Pound thread.
  • Cheers, Pete.
  • Apropos of nothing, my old American History prof's father was the one who arrested Pound in Italy, if you want to figure out your degrees of separation.