Poem In October

Dylan Thomas 1914 (Swansea) – 1953 (Greenwich Village)



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 net 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 rainy autumn
And walked abroad in a 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
           Summery
       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 sun light
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 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 singingbirds.

   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.
Font size:
Collection  PDF     
 

Submitted by davidb on November 10, 2021

Modified on May 01, 2023

2:18 min read
446

Quick analysis:

Scheme AXABAXXXAX CXDXXXXCXX EECBCFXEXF CXGXXXXGHX FXCIDXCIXD FXFJEJXFXD HXEAXXXXXE
Closest metre Iambic tetrameter
Characters 2,598
Words 456
Stanzas 7
Stanza Lengths 10, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10

Dylan Thomas

Dylan Marlais Thomas (27 October 1914 – 9 November 1953) was a Welsh poet and writer whose works include the poems "Do not go gentle into that good night" and "And death shall have no dominion", the "play for voices", Under Milk Wood, and stories and radio broadcasts such as A Child's Christmas in Wales and Portrait of the Artist as a Young Dog. He became popular in his lifetime and remained so after his premature death in New York. In his later life he acquired a reputation, which he encouraged, as a "roistering, drunken and doomed poet". more…

All Dylan Thomas poems | Dylan Thomas Books

18 fans

Discuss the poem Poem In October with the community...

2 Comments
  • Symmetry58
    This is genius. Some of the best poetry one could ever be privileged enough to encounter. Words move me. This piece was read with a lump in my throat and tear in my eye. So, so beautiful.
    LikeReply1 year ago
  • Heronsong
    Brimming with wonderful Thomasian imagery.
    LikeReply1 year ago

Translation

Find a translation for this poem in other languages:

Select another language:

  • - Select -
  • 简体中文 (Chinese - Simplified)
  • 繁體中文 (Chinese - Traditional)
  • Español (Spanish)
  • Esperanto (Esperanto)
  • 日本語 (Japanese)
  • Português (Portuguese)
  • Deutsch (German)
  • العربية (Arabic)
  • Français (French)
  • Русский (Russian)
  • ಕನ್ನಡ (Kannada)
  • 한국어 (Korean)
  • עברית (Hebrew)
  • Gaeilge (Irish)
  • Українська (Ukrainian)
  • اردو (Urdu)
  • Magyar (Hungarian)
  • मानक हिन्दी (Hindi)
  • Indonesia (Indonesian)
  • Italiano (Italian)
  • தமிழ் (Tamil)
  • Türkçe (Turkish)
  • తెలుగు (Telugu)
  • ภาษาไทย (Thai)
  • Tiếng Việt (Vietnamese)
  • Čeština (Czech)
  • Polski (Polish)
  • Bahasa Indonesia (Indonesian)
  • Românește (Romanian)
  • Nederlands (Dutch)
  • Ελληνικά (Greek)
  • Latinum (Latin)
  • Svenska (Swedish)
  • Dansk (Danish)
  • Suomi (Finnish)
  • فارسی (Persian)
  • ייִדיש (Yiddish)
  • հայերեն (Armenian)
  • Norsk (Norwegian)
  • English (English)

Citation

Use the citation below to add this poem to your bibliography:

Style:MLAChicagoAPA

"Poem In October" Poetry.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2024. Web. 15 Jul 2024. <https://www.poetry.com/poem/113677/poem-in-october>.

Become a member!

Join our community of poets and poetry lovers to share your work and offer feedback and encouragement to writers all over the world!

Poem In October

July 2024

Poetry Contest

Join our monthly contest for an opportunity to win cash prizes and attain global acclaim for your talent.
16
days
10
hours
37
minutes

Special Program

Earn Rewards!

Unlock exciting rewards such as a free mug and free contest pass by commenting on fellow members' poems today!

Browse Poetry.com

Quiz

Are you a poetry master?

»
The opposite of poetry is _______.
A Prose
B Verse
C Literalism
D Somnolence