Landscape of a poet - Dylan Thomas - Laugharne Wales
In the Footsteps of Dylan Thomas
Visit Laugharne and you visit Dylan Thomas, the writer, the poet, the man who left behind an enduring legacy of words.
Laugharne is a tucked-away place on the estuary of the Taf River in South Wales. Although Thomas was born in Swansea, he spent most of his working life here.
His life and death have made his little home town of one of Britain’s hottest tourist spots.
The many pubs and cafes run below the gnarled old castle, down to Thomas’s sloe-black, slow, black, crowblack, fishingboat-bobbing sea.
2014 - The Dylan Thomas centenary.
Remembered nationally and internationally, this year Wales will celebrate the 100th anniversary of his birth.
To celebrate the centenary of the life and times of Swansea’s most famous son, many events will take place at the Dylan Thomas Centre and other cultural venues in Swansea throughout the year.
The focal point of celebrations will be the well-established Dylan Thomas Festival, which runs from 27 October to 9 November (the dates of Dylan Thomas’ birth and death).
But there are plenty of events and activities to enjoy in the run up to the Dylan Thomas Festival.
It’s difficult to imagine what Thomas would make of today’s technology and writing processes.
It is well documented, that Thomas would not hurry the completion of his work. He would agonize for months over the placing of a single word in a poem.
Often much correspondence with fellow poets and friends ensued before he was satisfied.
He refused to compromise his work, placing enormous critical effort on himself.
Remembered for his stunning prose - a poem written to his dying father begins – ‘Do not go gentle into that good night. Old age should burn and rage at close of day…’
Commenting on Laugharne he’s reported as saying - ‘I got off the bus and forgot to get back on.’
‘Off and on, up and down, high and dry, man and boy, I’ve been living now for fifteen years, or centuries, in this timeless, beautiful, barmy (both spellings) town, in this far forgetful, important place of herons, cormorants, castle, church yard, gulls, ghosts.’
Home in Laugharne
The landscape of Wales and the sea is never far away from Dylan Thomas and is so much a part of his work.
It was here, that Thomas wrote Under Milk Wood, a play for voices.
The play covers a day in the life of Llareggub, the backwards-spelt home of Polly Garter, Captain Cat, No-good Boyo and all the other characters of the surreal work.
Visitors descend on Laugharne to visit the Boat House, they peep into the little shed where the poet worked each morning until it was time for his many pints at Brown’s Hotel.
Browns, his favourite watering hole has recently been refurbished and is now reopened and ready to remember him.
Thomas died in New York in 1953 aged 39. His legendary last words purported to be -"I've had 18 straight whiskies. I think that's the record!"
Visitors also see the sad little cross in the village churchyard where the word-tangling writer is buried.
.The Boat House has detailed information about the poet’s life and literary work.
Additional information -
This is the official website dedicated to Dylan Marlais Thomas, Wales' greatest poet.
The Life of Dylan Thomas - Constantine Fitzgibbon - Sphere Books Limited