Friday, February 04, 2005


Each night as I lay curled up in my bed,
Warm and snug in blankets black
And red, I try to read one piece at least
Or two, of poetry, especially when the
February wind comes with dead fingers,
Clawing at the window ledge.

Dylan Thomas is making little sense to me.

I can almost understand his imagery,
I can follow a few of the logical threads
(though often I would rather simply
Read it out loud for the pure pleasure of its
Sounds, and leave understanding to others).
Sometimes I spot similies
Streaking across the page like deer
And disappearing behind the next
Elephantine metaphor.
I enjoy his repetition, and his
Recurring themes, threaded through his
Work, streaking through his imagery, giving
The illusion of continuity.

Still, I understand little of what Dylan Thomas writes.

I keep seeing the same objects floating
To the surface like jetsam from
The poet's shipwrecked mind:
Bones and suns and wombs and tombs
And hair and man and pain and many deaths.
Each meaning something different each time,
Yet all meaning the same thing: abaddon.

Dylan Thomas was afraid of death, I think; I could be wrong.

I'm still not quite grasping his meaning,
It keeps wriggling free, flapping its finned tail,
Leaping from my knowing hands into the deep blue sea.
That doesn't stop me from chasing down
His elusive imagery, his recurring metaphors,
His streaking, lightning-flash continuity.
I keep reading, hoping that one day,
I'll stop seeing through his half-empty glass
Darkly, that I will stop going gentle into
His dark and incomprehensible night,
That I will rage against his dimly dying light.

Sometimes I just don't get Dylan Thomas,
But I still read his poems hoping that I will, one day.
(Sometimes I read the Bible the same way.)

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