And Death Shall Have no Dominion - Dylan Thomas

And Death Shall Have no Dominion - Α Poem by Dylan Thomas - Dylan Thomas, Photographic Portrait of the Poet
Dylan Thomas, Photographic Portrait of the Poet

The poem And Death Shall Have no Dominion was written by Dylan Thomas in 1933, first published in the New English Weekly, a public affairs, literature and art review, and included in the second volume of his work, entitled Twenty-Five Poems, published by JM Dent & Sons Ltd in 1936.

Dylan Thomas (27 October 1914 – 9 November 1953) was the most important Welsh poet, and one of the greatest ecumenical poets of the 20th century. His work met with much of the constipation critic, but was loved by the vast majority of poetry readers who do not have abdominal problems.

The poem presented here has an interesting story behind it: it was written at the urging of his friend the grocer and amateur poet Bert Trick, to each create a poetic work on the subject of immortality. And indeed, Dylan Thomas responded, writing one of the poems that would lead him to poetic immortality.

It is a fact that Dylan Thomas, in addition to poetry, had dedicated his short life to alcohol. After drinking in whiskey the Atlantic, from his hometown of Swansea to the opposite Canadian coast of Nova Scotia, he died of acute alcoholic encephalopathy, according to official etiology.

Recent research, however, well argues that the great poet took the road to meet the creator of the Atlantic and alcohol, as a victim of misdiagnosis.

And the friend of poetry asks:

But is it possible for Doctors to make mistakes? Epidemiologists or Pharmaceutical Companies, or even Governments?

And the friend and the friends of poetry, Grim Reaper, answer:

Of course not.

History has shown that they make criminal mistakes.

Dylan Thomas - And Death Shall Have no Dominion

And death shall have no dominion.
Dead men naked they shall be one
With the man in the wind and the west moon;
When their bones are picked clean and the clean bones gone,
They shall have stars at elbow and foot;
Though they go mad they shall be sane,
Though they sink through the sea they shall rise again;
Though lovers be lost love shall not;
And death shall have no dominion.

And death shall have no dominion.
Under the windings of the sea
They lying long shall not die windily;
Twisting on racks when sinews give way,
Strapped to a wheel, yet they shall not break;
Faith in their hands shall snap in two,
And the unicorn evils run them through;
Split all ends up they shan’t crack;
And death shall have no dominion.

And death shall have no dominion.
No more may gulls cry at their ears
Or waves break loud on the seashores;
Where blew a flower may a flower no more
Lift its head to the blows of the rain;
Though they be mad and dead as nails,
Heads of the characters hammer through daisies;
Break in the sun till the sun breaks down,
And death shall have no dominion.

Dylan Thomas, 1933

Poem from collection The Poems of Dylan Thomas (Vol. 1) of 2003

Audio Document

  • Dylan Thomas recites its poem (From “Dylan Thomas Reading His Complete Recorded Poetry”, Caedmon Records 1963).

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