Book Reviews & Essays on Literature

A Child’s Christmas in Wales, by Dylan Thomas

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My old but well-read copy of "Under Milk Wood". JM Dent & Sons Ltd., London, 1976 ed.

Dylan Thomas would’ve been 99 today. Born 27 October 1914, he died 9 November 1953, only 39 years old, much too soon. What a quotable writer Thomas was. All my life my parents, brother and I went about quoting from Under Milk Wood to each other, in stead of talking normally.

Using Thomas’ words was just so much more fun than ordinary English. My parents would call themselves “two old kippers in a box”, and my Mum would say to me “Give me my glasses. No, not my reading glasses. I want to look OUT, I want to see”. And mortification was expressed by sighing “Oh, Mrs. Ogmore, oh, Mrs. Prichard”, agreement with “Yes, Mog, yes, Mog, yes, yes, yes.”

Fans of the play would recognise these words instantly. Even now, I can quote entire passages from “Under Milk Wood”. When I was small I couldn’t understand much of it –  it was just a lovely torrent of words. With each re-listening over the years, I understood more, and appreciated it better. (Continue reading…)

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