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Landscape of a poet - Dylan Thomas - Laugharne Wales

Updated on April 27, 2014
Browns Hotel
Browns Hotel | Source
laugharne castle
laugharne castle | Source
the boathouse
the boathouse | Source
Browns Hotel
Browns Hotel | Source
cross for dylan
cross for dylan | Source

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.

The Poet

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


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    • travmaj profile imageAUTHOR


      4 years ago from australia

      suzzette, thank you for your comments, in Dylan is a connection of a Celtic nature. I am fascinated by the life and writings of Dylan Thomas. He certainly packed a lot into a short life and left behind a legacy. Best wishes...

    • suzettenaples profile image

      Suzette Walker 

      4 years ago from Taos, NM

      travmaj: This is a beautiful and wonderful hub. If I ever get to Wales, I will definitely visit here. I love his reason for living here, "I got off the bus and forgot to get back on." I love it! This must be a beautiful town near the water and beneath the castle. No wonder he 'forgot' to get back on the bus. The photos are wonderful also. Thanks so much for sharing this with us!

    • travmaj profile imageAUTHOR


      4 years ago from australia

      raymondphillippe - thank you - appreciated.

    • raymondphilippe profile image

      Raymond Philippe 

      4 years ago from The Netherlands


    • travmaj profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from australia

      Hello Angie - I'm so glad you enjoyed re visiting Dylan's home through my hub. I agree entirely - love his work - and yes he and Burton were both genius and self destructive. But what words, what diction, what a perfect combination of talent.

      I see you come from Cornwall - have many happy memories - my aunt and uncle and cousins moved down when I was small. I've visited a number of times since then and always love every minute of being there.

      Best regards..

    • Angie Jardine profile image

      Angie Jardine 

      6 years ago from Cornwall, land of the eternally youthful mind ...

      I adore Laugharne and have visited Dylan's home and his writing shed ... it is such a romantic area of Wales. Thanks for resurrecting my memories of this place, Maj.

      I have always had a soft spot in my heart for Dylan ... even if he was a self-destructive genius. I have a CD of that other self-destructive Welshman, Richard Burton, reciting 'Under Milkwood' ... it is so beautifully lilting.

    • travmaj profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from australia

      Thank you Glimmer appreciate you stopping by and commenting -

    • travmaj profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from australia

      Xstatic - thank you for commenting. Yes, Dylan Thomas was such a character, his life a series of mishaps and alchohol. There's a letter from him to his friend, poet, Vernon Watkins. Dylan was supposed to be best man at Vernons wedding - he went to London on the train and then couldn't remember which church the wedding was - so he didn't get there! (probably went to a pub instead) I'm a huge fan of his work and poetry -thank you again -much appreciated

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image

      Claudia Mitchell 

      6 years ago

      Another beautiful and interesting travel hub. Thanks

    • xstatic profile image

      Jim Higgins 

      6 years ago from Eugene, Oregon

      Wonderful! I want to know more about him. We are so familiar with many words he wrote, some of which you quote, yet we (I) know little about the poet, the man. Up & all but funny, though those "last words"

      made me smile.


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