THE LIFE AND WORK OF DYLAN THOMAS
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Quotes

A born writer is born scrofulous; his career is an accident dictated by physical or circumstantial disabilities.

A good poem is a contribution to reality. The world is never the same once a good poem has been added to it. A good poem helps to change the shape of the universe, helps to extend everyone's knowledge of himself and the world around him.

After thirty nine years this is all I've done.

An alcoholic is someone you don't like who drinks as much as you do.

Don't be too harsh to these poems until they're typed. I always think typescript lends some sort of certainty: at least, if the things are bad then, they appear to be bad with conviction.

Go on thinking that you don't need to be read and you'll find that it may become quite true: no one will feel the need to read it because it is written for yourself alone; and the public won't feel any impulse to gate crash such a private party.

Great is the hand that holds dominion over man by a scribbled name.

He who seeks rest finds boredom. He who seeks work finds rest.

I hold a beast, an angel and a madman in me, and my enquiry is as to their working, and my problem is their subjugation and victory, downthrow and upheaval, and my effort is their self-expression.

I know we're not saints or virgins or lunatics; we know all the lust and lavatory jokes, and most of the dirty people; we can catch buses and count our change and cross the roads and talk real sentences. But our innocence goes awfully deep, and our discreditable secret is that we don't know anything at all, and our horrid inner secret is that we don't care that we don't.

It's that - the thought of the few, simple things we want and the knowledge that we're going to get them in spite of you know Who and His spites and tempers - that keeps us living I think.

My education was the liberty I had to read indiscriminately and all the time, with my eyes hanging out.

Never be lucid, never state, if you would be regarded great.

Somebody's boring me. I think it's me.

The function of posterity is to look after itself.

There is only one position for an artist anywhere; and that is upright.

These poems, with all their crudities, doubts, and confusions, are written for the love of Man and in praise of God, and I'd be a damn' fool if they weren't.

Wales is the land of my fathers. And my fathers can have it.

Whatever talents I possess may suddenly diminish or suddenly increase. I can with ease become an ordinary fool. I may be one now. But it doesn't do to upset one's own vanity.

When one burns one's bridges, what a very nice fire it makes.



The Life And Work Of Dylan Thomas written, designed, and copyright (except where otherwise noted) © by Willem Jonkman. All rights reserved. Contact: editor@undermilkwood.net

Copyright for the works of Dylan Thomas on this site © 1937, 1945, 1955, 1956, 1962, 1965, 1966, 1967, 1971, 1977 The Trustees for the Copyrights of Dylan Thomas. Copyright for the recording of Under Milk Wood used on this site, © 1963, 1995 BBC Worldwide Ltd. Most works on this site are read by the author, using embedded audio-files which require Adobe Flash Player. Listening is best experienced using a broadband connection (DSL, cable, T1) in order to enjoy seamless play of this site's audio features.

Acknowledgements: Constantine FitzGibbon, The Life Of Dylan Thomas © 1965; Annis Pratt, Dylan Thomas' Early Prose: A Study In Creative Mythology © 1970; Andrew Sinclair, Dylan Thomas © 1975; Paul Ferris, Dylan Thomas - A Biography © 1977; John Ackerman, Welsh Dylan © 1979; Susan Richardson, The Legacy Of Dylan Thomas In Wales © 2000; Joan Gooding, Britain's Last Romantic Poet: Dylan Thomas © 2000.