All things old China - books, anecdotes, stories, podcasts, factoids & ramblings from the author Paul French

When Dylan Thomas Dreamed of China

Posted: May 3rd, 2014 | No Comments »

‘Rage, rage against the dying of the light.’ It’s the centenary of Dylan Thomas’s birth, a favourite poet of mine ever since I was given a copy of Under Milk Wood as a young lad. I didn’t think I’d be able to work Thomas into this blog but it turns out that, as a boy, as a boy, in Swansea he did dream of China….

Dylan Thomas from Quite Early One Morning: 
          “I was born in a large Welsh town at the beginning of the Great War—an ugly, lovely town (or so it was and is to me), crawling, sprawling by a long and splendid curving shore where truant boys and sandfield boys and old men from nowhere, beachcombed, idled and paddled, watched the dock-bound ships or the ships streaming away into wonder and India, magic and China, countries bright with oranges and loud with lions; threw stones into the sea for the barking outcast dogs; made castles and forts and harbours and race tracks in the sand; and on Saturday afternoons listened to the brass band, watched the Punch and Judy, or hung about on the fringes of the crowd to hear the fierce religious speakers who shouted at the sea, as though it were wicked and wrong to roll in and out like that, white-horsed and full of fishes.”

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