Dylan Thomas20th century Welsh poet, short-story writer, playwright, journalist, broadcaster, and scriptwriter
- Full name: Dylan Marlais Thomas
- Birth: October 27, 1914
- Death: November 9, 1953
- Place of Birth: Swansea, South Wales
- Buried: Laugharne, Wales
- Father: D(avid) J(ohn) Thomas
- Mother: Florence Williams Thomas
- Sister: Nancy Marles Thomas
- Spouse: Caitlin Macnamara
- Number of Children: Three (2 sons: Llewelyn Edouard Thomas and Colm Garan Hart Thomas; 1 daughter: Aeronwy Bryn Thomas)
- Education: Swansea Grammar School (attended from 1925 to 1931)
- Known for: the force and vitality of his verbal imagery and for his celebration of scenic aspects of nature
- Notorious for: leading a bohemian lifestyle that included heavy-drinking and philandering
“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.”
Do Not Go Gentle into That Good Night (1951)
1936: Twenty-five Poems
1939: The Map of Love
1940: Portrait of the Artist as a Young Dog
1946: Deaths and Entrances
1951: In Country Sleep
1952: Collected Poems
1953: The Doctor and the Devils
1954: Under Milk Wood (published posthumously)
1955: Adventures in the Skin Trade (published posthumously)
1957: Letters to Vernon Watkins
Did You Know?
- Alongside his reputation as a poet, Thomas is also remembered today for his alcoholism and womanizing.
- Dylan Thomas was not an Englishman. He was a Welshman, but chose to write in English poetic tradition.
- During his tenure as a student at the Swansea Grammar School he showed much interest in the extra-curricular activities than regular studies.
- Later Thomas could realise the value of formal education and regretted over his lack of linguistic command and professional training and lived in fear of his ignorance being found out.
- It is assumed that Thomas’ marriage was a happy one, but a book published by Caitlin after his demise included the fact that almost each day of their conjugal life featured fighting and quarreling.
- Thomas’ reaction to the outbreak of World War II was both cowardly and patriotic. He was afraid of being conscripted and so being killed. He even couldn’t flee to America like W.H. Auden and Christopher Isherwood, hence chose to become a conscientious objector. However, he was saved from being filed for conscientious objector status as he was declared medically unfit for the armed forces.
- During the post-World War II phase, financial need provoked him to give more energy to his profitable short stories and screenplays rather than to his poetry.
- His American tour in 1950, and those that followed in 1952 and 1953, were marked by inebriation, outrageous behaviour, and in some cases, brilliant readings.
- Thomas’ attempt to secure regular employment with the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) and various film companies was hindered by his notoriety as a heavy-drinker.
- Even though Thomas planned to use the profits from his readings in America to pay back his growing debts at home, he squandered most of his earnings before he made his way back to Wales.
- Thomas died at the age of 39 in New York City of pneumonia caused by excess of drinking.
- When Thomas’ life ended prematurely of alcoholism, the world regarded his demise as a symbol of the tragic life of the modern artist.