Friday, October 27, 2006

"Death Shall Have No Dominion" -- Remembering Dylan Thomas

On this date (October 27) in 1914, Dylan Thomas was born at No 5, Cwmdonkin Drive in Swansea, Great Britain. Thomas grew up to become one of the nation's most popular poets as well as developing unique talents as a playwright, storyteller and screenwriter.

On this internet page, you'll find texts of most of Thomas' finest poems, including the full text of one of the warmest, most delightful poems in our language, A Child's Christmas in Wales.

But permit me to go ahead and print, in honor of this melancholy, gifted voice, one of my other favorites.

And Death Shall Have No Dominion
by Dylan Thomas

And death shall have no dominion.
Dead men naked they shall be one
With the man in the wind and the west moon;
When their bones are picked clean and the clean bones gone,
They shall have stars at elbow and foot;
Though they go mad they shall be sane,
Though they sink through the sea they shall rise again;
Though lovers be lost love shall not;
And death shall have no dominion.

And death shall have no dominion.
Under the windings of the sea
They lying long shall not die windily;
Twisting on racks when sinews give way,
Strapped to a wheel, yet they shall not break;
Faith in their hands shall snap in two,
And the unicorn evils run them through;
Split all ends up they shan't crack;
And death shall have no dominion.

And death shall have no dominion.
No more may gulls cry at their ears
Or waves break loud on the seashores;
Where blew a flower may a flower no more
Lift its head to the blows of the rain;
Though they be mad and dead as nails,
Heads of the characters hammer through daisies;
Break in the sun till the sun breaks down,
And death shall have no dominion.