“Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.”
Dylan Thomas, Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night
Those who follow LadyBudd, know that I have been away a few weeks on an adventure with my family. My son organized an “Industrial Revolution” tour that took us into Wales and England. One of our first stops was Swansea, a coastal city and county situated on the sandy south West Wales coast. During the height of the industrial revolution, Swansea was the centre of the copper industry. But it was much more than its nickname, “Copperopolis.” The port was also known for its trade in wine, hides, wool, cloth and coal.
While our focus was the 19th century, we found that the 20th century could not be ignored for who could withstand the brilliance of Dylan Thomas.
Dylan Marlais Thomas was born in Swansea on the 27th of October 1914. In 1925, he entered the Swansea Grammar School where his father was the Senior English Master. In December of that year, when he was only 11, he published his first poem, “The Song of the Mischievous Dog.”
His mother said that Dylan Thomas was “A very loveable boy, all a son could be to me.” His uncle, the Rev. Rees cautioned that “The boy should be in a madhouse.” His close friend, actor Richard Burton, said, “Dylan as an actor was an explosive performing force.” And Seamus Heaney, poet and Nobel Prize winner, simply called him “Dylan the Durable.”
The Song of the Mischievous Dog
by Dylan Thomas
There are many who say that a dog has its day,
And a cat has a number of lives;
There are others who think that a lobster is pink,
And that bees never work in their hives.
There are fewer, of course, who insist that a horse
Has a horn and two humps on its head,
And a fellow who jests that a mare can build nests
Is as rare as a donkey that’s red.
Yet in spite of all this, I have moments of bliss,
For I cherish a passion for bones,
And though doubtful of biscuit, I’m willing to risk it,
And I love to chase rabbits and stones.
But my greatest delight is to take a good bite
At a calf that is plump and delicious;
And if I indulge in a bite at a bulge,
Let’s hope you won’t think me too vicious.