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A and E: Welsh Poet Thomas Dylan


An extraordinarily individualistic writer, Welsh poet,Thomas Dylan is ranked among the great 20th-century poets.

He was born in Swansea in 1914. He grew up in Swansea, the son of a teacher, but left school at 17 to become a journalist and moved to London two years later. His Eighteen Poems, published in 1934, created controversy but won him immediate fame, which grew with the publication of Twenty-five Poems, The Map of Love, The World I Breathe, Deaths and Entrances and In Country Sleep and Other Poems.

The prose Thomas published is fragmented into stories and sketches, many autobiographical or pseudo-autobiographical, all touched with fantasy.

Thomas's themes are traditional—love, death, mutability—and over the years he seemed to pass from religious doubt to joyous faith in God. His complex imagery is based on many sources, including Welsh legend, Christian symbolism, witchcraft, astronomy, and Freudian psychology; the private myth he created makes his early poetry hard to understand. Yet his sure mastery of sound, his warm humor, and his robust love of life attract the reader instantaneously.

Thomas greatly enjoyed his success but lived recklessly and drank heavily. Thomas Dylan died in 1953.

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