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The Collected Poems of Dylan Thomas

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The Collected Poems of Dylan Thomas Cover

ISBN13: 9780811218818
ISBN10: 0811218813
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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

The Collected Poems of Dylan Thomas contains poems that Thomas personally decided best represented his work. A year before its publication Thomas died from swelling of the brain triggered by excessive drinking. (A piece of New Directions history: it was our founder James Laughlin who identified Thomas’ body at the morgue of St. Vincent’s Hospital.)

Since its initial publication in 1953, this book has become the definitive edition of the poet’s work. Thomas wrote “Prologue” addressed to “my readers, the strangers” — an introduction in verse that was the last poem he would ever write. Also included are classics such as “And Death Shall Have No Dominion,” “Do Not Go Gentle into that Good Night,” and “Fern Hill” that have influenced generations of artists from Bob Dylan (who changed his last name from Zimmerman in honor of the poet), to John Lennon (The Beatles included Thomas’ portrait on the cover of Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band); this collection even appears in the film adaptation of Cormac McCarthy’s The Road when it is retrieved from the rubble of a bookshelf.

     And death shall have no dominion.
     Dead men naked they shall be one
     With the man in the wind and the west moon;
     When their bones are picked clean and their clean bones gone,
     They shall have stars at elbow and foot;
     Though they go mad they shall be sane,
     Though they sink through the sea they shall rise again,
     Though lovers be lost love shall not:
     And death shall have no dominion.

             (From “And Death Shall Have No Dominion”)

Synopsis:

Dylan Thomas (1914-1953) prepared this volume in 1952'"the author's choice of the ninety poems he felt would best represent his work up to that time'"and it was published by New Directions in 1953 as The Collected Poems of Dylan Thomas, shortly after his death. This book was then and remained, for all practical purposes, Thomas's "collected" poems and in that sense complete. However, with the 1971 publication of the 192 poems in The Poems of Dylan Thomas(also now available in a revised edition), Thomas's Collected Poemshas naturally evolved to become Thomas's Selected Poems.

Thomas wrote his last poem, "Prologue," especially to begin this collection, and addressed it to "my readers, the strangers." Two unfinished poems are included in this edition: "Elegy," prepared by Vernon Watkins, and "In Country Heaven," prepared by Daniel Jones'"both Welsh poets were life-long friends of Dylan Thomas. Textual corrections discovered over the course of forty years have now been incorporated, and a complete index of titles and first lines, as well as a brief chronology of the author's life, have been added.

As it has for half a century, this book includes the best of Dylan Thomas's poetry'""Light Breaks Where No Sun Shines," "The Force that Through the Green Fuse Drives the Flower," "And Death Shall Have No Dominion," "Poem in October," "Do Not Go Gentle into that Good Night," "The Hunchback in the Park," "In My Craft or Sullen Art," "In Country Sleep," and Thomas's poignant reflection on his youth, "Fern Hill."

About the Author

The reputation of Welsh poet Dylan Thomas(1914-1953) as one of the greatest poets of the twentieth century has not waned in the fifty years since his death. His work, noted for its lush metaphors, musicality, and playfulness within traditional forms, was largely responsible for modernizing poetic verse. Thomas also wrote captivating short stories, a novella, several screenplays and radio plays, as well as his delightful stage play, Under Milk Wood — all infused with his passion for the English language and his enduring love of Wales.

Poet and academic Paul Muldoon (b. 1951) won the Pulitzer Prize in 2002 for his collection Moy Sand and Gravel. He currently teaches at Princeton University and is the Poetry Editor for The New Yorker.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Jack Cahill, December 6, 2013 (view all comments by Jack Cahill)
Dylan Thomas's poetry is by turns obscure and diamond-clear, prosaic and otherworldly, deeply personal and universal and eternal. I find other poets irritating when their references are too deeply veiled or idiosyncratic, but Dylan Thomas composes so beautifully that I wouldn't care if I could understand him at all, so long as I could hear the poems read aloud. And sometimes that's what I do- stand in my office with the door closed and read him to myself, to clear my head and restore my faith. Like many poets, Thomas died young. I wish he had lived to be a hundred, and I wish he had written a new poem every day.
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Christopher Sanderson, November 18, 2010 (view all comments by Christopher Sanderson)
We've all had books that were a real friend, and The Collected Poems of Dylan Thomas: The Original Edition was mine through that five years of hard time we call High School. The Collected Poems of Dylan Thomas: The Original Edition was never out of my backpack through all of the lonely, odd days when I was my own Holden Caulfield wandering around in a new town where everyone but me was already old friends. At least there was always a tree in good weather or a lost nook in the hallway in bad where I could curl up and marvel at Dylan Thomas in the form of this book. His shaping of the book as his own introduction to his work provides a subtle subtext for each of the incredible poems. Alone in the shadows, the reflected light of his verbal fireworks lit up my imagination and I began to daydream that I could write, too, and that there might be some expression that I could give to the world that would approach this kind of marvel. I've spent an entire career trying to live up to that daydream, and never been sorry for it. If you care about the English language for any reason at all, you must have The Collected Poems of Dylan Thomas: The Original Edition and read it and keep it. Other than Shakespeare, I've never read a poet who showed off the possibilities of our language so deeply and so well. CCS November 18, 2010
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Product Details

ISBN:
9780811218818
Author:
Dylan Thomas
Publisher:
New Directions Publishing Corporation
Introduction:
Muldoon, Paul
Author:
Thomas, Dylan
Subject:
English, Irish, Scottish, Welsh
Subject:
Single Author - British & Irish
Subject:
Anthologies-United Kingdom Poetry
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Original
Publication Date:
April 2010
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Illustrations:
Y
Pages:
240
Dimensions:
8 x 5 x 1 in

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The Collected Poems of Dylan Thomas New Trade Paper
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Product details 240 pages New Directions Publishing Corporation - English 9780811218818 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , Dylan Thomas (1914-1953) prepared this volume in 1952'"the author's choice of the ninety poems he felt would best represent his work up to that time'"and it was published by New Directions in 1953 as The Collected Poems of Dylan Thomas, shortly after his death. This book was then and remained, for all practical purposes, Thomas's "collected" poems and in that sense complete. However, with the 1971 publication of the 192 poems in The Poems of Dylan Thomas(also now available in a revised edition), Thomas's Collected Poemshas naturally evolved to become Thomas's Selected Poems.

Thomas wrote his last poem, "Prologue," especially to begin this collection, and addressed it to "my readers, the strangers." Two unfinished poems are included in this edition: "Elegy," prepared by Vernon Watkins, and "In Country Heaven," prepared by Daniel Jones'"both Welsh poets were life-long friends of Dylan Thomas. Textual corrections discovered over the course of forty years have now been incorporated, and a complete index of titles and first lines, as well as a brief chronology of the author's life, have been added.

As it has for half a century, this book includes the best of Dylan Thomas's poetry'""Light Breaks Where No Sun Shines," "The Force that Through the Green Fuse Drives the Flower," "And Death Shall Have No Dominion," "Poem in October," "Do Not Go Gentle into that Good Night," "The Hunchback in the Park," "In My Craft or Sullen Art," "In Country Sleep," and Thomas's poignant reflection on his youth, "Fern Hill."
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