Dylan Thomas died on this day in 1953. He lived in and out of words. They were his daily bread. He once wrote:

"There they were, seemingly lifeless, made only of black and white, but out of them, out of their own being, came love and terror and pity and pain and wonder and all the other vague abstractions that make our ephemeral lives dangerous, great, and bearable."

Poetry that lasts and speaks to people all over the world comes from creative souls who cherish language as a sacred trust and who love to play with words. Dylan Thomas is one of those poets — he tutors us in the art of long looking as he fine tunes our imagination, helping us to see and experience ordinary places and things from a fresh perspective.

In his public persona, this Welsh man was a roaring boy, a Rabelaisian master of ceremonies, a larger-than-life character who played hide-and-seek with an addiction to alcohol. But when he sat down to write, he was a priest ready to celebrate life and language.

People often asked Thomas to define poetry and he would make up some definition or another. But then he would return to the most important thing — "having been moved by words."

To Name This Day:

Websites & Organizations

Visit the Dylan Thomas website and read his poetry.


Read and reap this quotation by Dylan Thomas on what the true connoisseur of poetry discovers:

"The best craftsmanship always leaves holes and gaps in the works of the poem so that something that is not in the poem can creep, crawl, flash, or thunder in."