Dylan Thomas, the great 20th century Welsh poet, was a master wordsmith. His poems are fabulous to be read aloud, particularly if you can do a Welsh accent and imagine you are Richard Burton driving the words out in in uninhibited drink-fuelled flow.
This poem has the very apt title “Notes on the Art of Poetry”
I could never have dreamt that there were such goings-on
in the world between the covers of books,
such sandstorms and ice blasts of words,,,
such staggering peace, such enormous laughter,
such and so many blinding bright lights,, ,
splashing all over the pages
in a million bits and pieces
all of which were words, words, words,
and each of which were alive forever
in its own delight and glory and oddity and light.
Whoever has ever been transfixed, transformed, moved, blown away, discombobulated, taken completely to a different place by words written on a page will recognize what Dylan Thomas describes in this poem. The delight and marvel of words used to amaze and enlighten come through in the succession of superlative adjectives, the accumulation of sensations which the poet describes here. He captures the reader’s experience when confronted by great writing of any genre.
And, of course, in poems like this and in his great long-form prose work “Under Milk Wood”, Dylan Thomas is giving us his own contribution to the making this experience come alive for us, his privileged readers.
The Poetry Dude