On this date…12th January 1935

The Onlooker of the Herald of Wales drew attention to its former staff member, Dylan Thomas’ new book 18 Poems. Dylan’s previous articles from 1932 on the poets of Swansea and the responses that were garnered from the late classicist, James Chapman Woods were also mentioned. The ‘Onlooker’ hypothesised how Woods would now view the modern approach of this rising, young, local poet.

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Take a look at our website www.dylanthomasbirthplace.com for details on how you can create your own unique experiences including tours, overnight stays and dining experiences at the home of Dylan Thomas, Wales’ most renowned writer!

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On this date…11th January 1935

A highly complimentary review of Dylan’s first published book Eighteen Poems appeared in The Swansea Review section of the Swansea & West Wales Guardian newspaper.
This seems to be the first instance where the book was reviewed in a Welsh periodical.

The reviewer, “20th CENTURY” says of Dylan…

‘Modern poets fall into two categories, those who are the creatures of their age, and those who are it’s creators. In the latter group we find Auden, Spender and Dylan Thomas. It is a fault of both Auden and Spender, that having perfected their technique as poets, they strain themselves to become perfect media for propaganda. Dylan Thomas is too much the artist to allow politics to bemuse his muse. One knows instinctively his politics are correct, but they hover like a faint perfume above the lines of his poetry; they neither intrude or obtrude.’

He closes with…

‘Mr. Thomas is doing with poetry much the same as James Joyce did with prose. He is making a new language, not a Joyce did by making numerous languages to produce an illegitimate literary off-spring, but hammering new meaning into old worlds and phrases; crowning backs with the alchemy of his essentially poetic imagination.

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Take a look at our website www.dylanthomasbirthplace.com for details on how you can create your own unique experiences including tours, overnight stays and dining experiences at the home of Dylan Thomas, Wales’ most renowned writer!

 

On this date…10th January 1935

An advert in the South Wales Evening Post gives mention that the first book of poems by Swansea’s Dylan Thomas entitled 18 Poems, will be reviewed in its sister paper the Herald of Wales.

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On this date…9th January 1935

The Listener of the Gossip of the Day column of the South Wales Evening Post talks of a conversation they have had with author Richard Hughes about young Swansea poet Dylan Thomas.

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On this date…9th January 1932

An article entitled The Poets of Swansea appeared in the Herald of Wales Swansea weekly newspaper. Author of the piece, 18 year old junior reporter Dylan Thomas examines the lives of the Swansea literati. The young man also writes poetry. He hopes to one day feature among this impressive list.

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Take a look at our website www.dylanthomasbirthplace.com for details on how you can create your own unique experiences including tours, overnight stays and dining experiences at the home of Dylan Thomas, Wales’ most renowned writer!

On this date…7th January 1933

Whilst working as a junior reporter Dylan had an interesting article entitled ‘Genius and Madness Akin in World of Art’ published in the South Wales Evening Post.

In his piece he examines the lifestyles and character ‘kinks’ of many prominent figures in history and the present day. At the end of the article he poses the question ‘Who would be a genius after all?’

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On this date…5th January 1935

Dylan’s friend and mentor Bert Trick writes to the editor of South Wales Evening Post hailing the rising young poet whilst attacking the lack of discussion generated since the release of Dylan’s first book 18 Poems by what he calls the ‘intelligentsia of Swansea.’ Trick asks the question, ‘are these cultural circles so moribund that they cannot see a new star in the literary firmament?’

‘Sir,- One can be pardoned for imagining that the paragraphs concerning the poems of Dylan Thomas, which have appeared in your columns, would have evoked a spate of correspondence from the intelligentsia of Swansea.
Are these cultural circles so moribund that they cannot see a new star in the literary firmament? Are they so cloyed with picking-over the cold coalitions of the academic school that they have no appetite for the red-blood and meat of the moderns?
Or is it due to a distrust of local talent, the phenomenon that compels native artists to assume foreign names to win recognition for their talents?
The early reviews of Dylan Thomas’s volume of eighteen poems have been not only commendatory, but, to a degree, eulogistic. He is regarded in the higher literary circles as the outstanding poet of the last decade, and it is true to say, as was quoted in your paragraph, that he has already outstripped the Eliot-Pound-Auden school, having wrought a technique entirely individual, which is at the same time in direct line of descent from Blake, Webster and Beddoes.’

A. E Trick
69, Glanbrydan avenue
Swansea

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Dylan and the whiskered beast of Pwlldu.

At about this time in early January 1934 it is believed that Dylan wrote the following piece detailing a close encounter with a furry ‘beast’ at the beautiful cove of Pwlldu, Gower.

he recounted to Pamela Hansford Johnson…

“I was sitting in the porch of the Pwlldu Inn on a cold, sunny afternoon, eating an unnaturally large sandwich and sipping at a quart mug-both sandwich and mug were almost as large as me. In the midst of my meal I heard a loud stamping (that is the only honest word to describe it), and, looking up, saw a rat immediately in front of me, his eyes fixed on mine. A rat? This was a rat with a capital R, a vast iron-grey animal as big as a cat, with long, drooping whiskers and a tail like an old frayed whip. Normally I am frightened to death by rats, even by mice, and certainly by moths, but this monstrosity of a creature did not alarm me at all. He couldn’t move quickly anyway, he was much too fat. He merely stood there in front of me until I threw him a piece of cheese. He sniffed it, swallowed it, and stamped away. Again ‘stamped’ is the only word: he went away like a fat old soldier from a canteen.Thinking of him when he had gone, I came to the conclusion that he must be the Father of all Rats, the First Rat, the Rat Progenitive, the Rat Divine.”

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*The Inn that he refers to is likely to have been the ‘Beaufort Arms’ which is the building just right of centre in the photograph.*

 

 

 

2017 to be a legendary year for visitors to Wales.

Dylan Thomas will feature as part of Welsh Government’s new marketing campaign as 2017 becomes Wales’ Year of Legends.


The campaign aims to promote Wales’ culture and heritage, and follows on from the 2016 Year of Adventure.

Just three years after the worldwide celebrations witnessed during Dylan Thomas’ Centenary and a year after the highly successful events surrounding writer Roald Dahl comes another chance to highlight the importance that Wales, its people, landscape and folklore has played in influencing some of its finest exports and how it can still inspire today.

Read more on the Year of Legends here

Throughout the year Dylan Thomas Birthplace will be supporting the Year of Legends initiative. Owner and restorer of Dylan’s Birthplace, Geoff Haden, said…

‘Dylan is certainly THE standout literary figure in Wales, and surely is the country’s most renowned. The best way to discover more about him is by visiting the house that birthed him and a near two-thirds of his work!’

Matt Hughes, the curator of 5 Cwmdonkin Drive, where Dylan and his family lived for twenty-three years added…

‘We’ll not only be open for daily house visits, we’ll also be offering expert guided tours of areas connected with the poet, writer and broadcaster around his native Swansea & Gower and to his home from home of Laugharne.’

Visitors to the home of Swansea’s most famous son also have the opportunity to dine and stay overnight, creating their own unique memories and perhaps to find their own inspiration in the footsteps of the legendary Welsh figure.

Take a look at  www.dylanthomasbirthplace.com for more details. 

Did you enjoy a drop this Christmas?

D.J. Thomas (Dylan’s father) enjoyed a glass or two of Hancock’s Mild Ale. It was his favourite tipple and in his day was widely available in Swansea. As you can see from the advert from the South Wales Evening Post, you could even get it delivered to your door for Christmas…

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William Hancock & Co Ltd had a strong presence in Swansea and was Wales’ biggest brewer. The company operated several sites in the town from 1887 until the late 1960s including one near the famous Vetch Field and one at the bottom of now ‘infamous’ Wind Street. The company was acquired by Bass then Brains in 1999 and now Molson Coors.

Take a look at our website www.dylanthomasbirthplace.com for details on how you can create your own unique experiences including tours, overnight stays and dining experiences at the home of Dylan Thomas, Wales’ most renowned writer!