12 year old D.M. Thomas of Swansea had a poem entitled His Requiem published in Wales’ national newspaper, the Western Mail.
Nearly 45 years later it was discovered that he had cribbed the verse from one of his favourite boyhood reads The Boy’s Own Paper of November 1923. Had the act been committed for mere devilment? More likely it had been an attempt by the young boy with aspirations of becoming a poet, to gain the approval from his parents which he so craved.
The paper would send the Thomases a postal order of 10 shillings as payment but Dylan’s parents were so proud of their son’s achievement that it was never spent.
In 1971, upon publication of Dylan Thomas: The Poems (edited by Dylan’s great friend Daniel Jones) a keen eyed reader by the name of Mr. Richard Parker of London alerted The Sunday Telegraph to this poem which featured in the book’s Early Poems section. It seems that Mr. Parker had a very good memory and remembered His Requiem being published by a Miss Lillian Gard, a regular contributor of poems and stories to the Boy’s Own Paper in the 1920s.
As a result, Daniel Jones book at first carried a publisher’s note acknowledging the new finding and then the poem was removed in later editions.
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