Wednesday, October 27, 2010

"Poem in October" by Dylan Thomas

It was my thirtieth year to heaven
Woke to my hearing from harbour and neighbour wood
  And the mussel pooled and the heron
          Priested shore
     The morning beckon
With water praying and call of seagull and rook
And the knock of sailing boats on the webbed wall
     Myself to set foot
          That second
  In the still sleeping town and set forth.

  My birthday began with the water-
Birds and the birds of the winged trees flying my name
  Above the farms and the white horses
          And I rose
      In a rainy autumn
And walked abroad in shower of all my days
High tide and the heron dived when I took the road
      Over the border
          And the gates
  Of the town closed as the town awoke.

  A springful of larks in a rolling
Cloud and the roadside bushes brimming with whistling
  Blackbirds and the sun of October
      On the hill's shoulder,
Here were fond climates and sweet singers suddenly
Come in the morning where I wandered and listened
      To the rain wringing
          Wind blow cold
  In the wood faraway under me.

  Pale rain over the dwindling harbour
And over the sea wet church the size of a snail
  With its horns through mist and the castle
          Brown as owls
       But all the gardens
Of spring and summer were blooming in the tall tales
Beyond the border and under the lark full cloud.
       There could I marvel
          My birthday
  Away but the weather turned around.

  It turned away from the blithe country
And down the other air and the blue altered sky
  Streamed again a wonder of summer
          With apples
       Pears and red currants
And I saw in the turning so clearly a child's
Forgotten mornings when he walked with his mother
       Through the parables
          Of sunlight
  And the legends of the green chapels

  And the twice told fields of infancy
That his tears burned my cheeks and his heart moved in mine.
  These were the woods the river and the sea
          Where a boy
       In the listening
Summertime of the dead whispered the truth of his joy
To the trees and the stones and the fish in the tide.
       And the mystery
          Sang alive
  Still in the water and singing birds.

  And there could I marvel my birthday
Away but the weather turned around. And the true
  Joy of the long dead child sang burning
          In the sun.
       It was my thirtieth
  Year to heaven stood there then in the summer noon
  Though the town below lay leaved with October blood.
       O may my heart's truth
          Still be sung
  On this high hill in a year's turning.

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