awesomeness appreciation: Dylan Thomas
This is an awesomeness-appreciation post. Today, I’m appreciating Dylan Thomas all over again.
To begin at the beginning:
It is spring, moonless night in the small town, starless and bible-black, the cobblestreets silent and the hunched, courters’-and-rabbits’ wood limping invisible down to the sloeblack, slow, black, crowblack, fishingboat-bobbing sea.
The first sentence. The very first time I read it, years ago, I was irrevocably hooked. It goes on to describe how the whole town is sleeping, and I love every single word, but the part that I love especially, apart from that first sentence, is this:
Young girls lie bedded soft or glide in their dreams, with rings and trousseaux, bridesmaided by glow-worms down the aisles of the organplaying wood. The boys are dreaming wicked or of the bucking ranches of the night and the jollyrodgered sea. And the anthracite statues of the horses sleep in the fields, and the cows in the byres, and the dogs in the wetnosed yards; and the cats nap in the slant corners or lope sly, streaking and needling, on the one cloud of the roofs.
Is there anything more effortlessly vivid, more neatly expressive, more beautifully evocative than that?!? Somehow it’s the ‘anthracite statues of the horses’ that always send a chill down my spine. If you’ve never read Under Milk Wood, you’ve missed out. Go and get it. Even better, listen to it. It’s a radio play, after all.
Which reminds me… You can hear Dylan Thomas read it himself: