Anglo-Welsh Writers : Dylan Thomas Essay, Research Paper
Anglo-Welsh writing is work that is written in English by writers from Wales. Some of the well-known Anglo-Welsh writers are Dylan Thomas and R.S Thomas. All three were born and brought-up in Wales and write about various topics through English.
Dylan Thomas was born in Swansea in 1914. His poems, characterised by complex imagery and a strong musicality, include the celebration of his 30th birthday Poem in October and the evocation of his youth Fern Hill (1946). He is best known for his play for voices Under Milk Wood (1954) describes with humour and compassion a day in the life of the residents of a small Welsh fishing village, Llareggub. He wrote short stories – many of them autobiographical – and poetry. Other works include A Child´s Christmas in Wales and Portrait of the Artist as a Young Dog, written in 1940. On the 9th of November, a few days after his thirty-ninth birthday, Dylan Thomas died in New York. His new poem was unfinished, and the collaboration with Stravinsky, planned for the end of the year, had not even begun. Dylan Thomas is one of the most widely discussed and controversial poets of this century. Under Milk Wood was a play for voices set in the small fishing village of Llareggub, based on Laugharne in West Wales. Although the town is named Llareggub in the book, of course many people in Laugharne were horrified when the book was first published as they thought that it insulted them. The book begins as the sun is rising and describes the day and the people, the book ends as the sun is setting on the town of Llareggub. Most of the characters speak only a few lines at a time and thus the story is told in a fast pace. The only substantial pieces are narrated by the first and second voices who describe and set the scene where required.
Under Milk Wood is a black comedy, and many of the characters used in this in this way. Butcher Beynon is portrayed as the small-town butcher who sarcastically sells “owlmeat, dogs´ eyes, manchop”and other undesirable meats. Other notable characters include Captain Cat who is one of the opening characters of the book, the retired blind sea-captain, who is asleep in his bunk as day dawns on Llareggub. Myfanwy Price and Mog Edwards love each other but never get married, they just talk about their feelings and write to each other but never really act like a couple. Organ Morgan is an obssesive organist who would rather play the organ than do anything else. Polly Garter just seems to grow “…washing. And babies.” in her garden and the babies fathers are “…Over the hills and far away.”. There are similarities between Dylan Thomas and Caitlin in characters of the Cherry Owen´s as Dylan Thomas used to drink and get drunk but they were still happy as a couple which is the case with the Cherry Owen´s. Mrs Ogmore-Pritchard, with her two dead husbands has an obseession with cleanliness and even complains about “…persons in my nice clean rooms breathing all over the chairs”. One of Dylan Thomas´ famous poems is Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night which he wrote as his father lay dying. He didn´t want his father to die away, he wanted him to resist death, to fight against it and not to drift away silently. Other works written by Dylan Thomas include Portrait of the artist as a Young Dog, a large collection of short stories written from the child´s aspect. A Child´s Christmas in Wales is written in the form of a young boy looking back on a memorable Christmas when it snowed. Descriptions such as “… I plunge my hands” are used to describe the action of the child picking up the snow, the reader can almost see the snow being picked up. Again, there are elements of comedy in A Child´s Christmas in Wales such as “Auntie Hannah, who had got on to the parsnip wine, sang a song about Bleeding Hearts and Death”. Dylan Thomas wrote using a wide range of genres; poetry, prose and drama. He is not well known for his short stories although he did write Portrait of the artist as a Young Dog. Most of his work was poetry, and was criticised by some for being cryptic and for throwing in adjectives into his poems leading to irregularity. Dylan Thomas changed poetry to some extent and broke some of the order in their structure. His best known play is Under Milk Wood and was written for voices. From examination of his work he wrote in an irregular style. Many of his prose, plays and poetry reflect Wales, its people and culture, albeit sometimes in a mocking way as in Under Milk Wood. The humour in his work is very often black and sarcastic, sometimes subtly included. There are many similarities between different works that he wrote, such as humour and welshness, but there are differences especialy in his poetry. Dylan Thomas´ wrote conventional and unconventional poetry (which is what he most renowned for), many of these poems were viewed as obscure and cryptic and some thought they were a mockery. In conclusion we can say that Dylan Thomas will remain a controversial poet, his work was adored by some and hated by others. But this is only expected as poetry is a very subjective medium.