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Life and Work of Dylan Thomas

This research examines the life and work of the Welsh poet Dylan Thomas (1914-1953). The research will set forth the historical and cultural context in which Thomas's poetic voice emerged and then discuss ways in which Thomas's patterns of behavior in his private life influenced and to some extent retarded the course of his richly promising professional work.

To discuss the life and career of Thomas is almost inevitably to include the observation that he died in what might have been the prime of his professional and personal life. Dylan Thomas's poetic gifts flourished despite a persistent pattern of self-destructive behavior that did the opposite of cherish and nurture them. The result was that his inability to break the destructive cycles in his life truncated what many critics take to be a rich and innovative literary voice.

From his earliest years Thomas recognized that he was an adept at manipulating language to poetic purpose. Born in Swansea, Wales, he was the only son and second of two surviving children of a schoolmaster whose dreams of a life of scholarly order and elegance were met by modest means and a propensity for drink and embellishment (Ferris 34ff). That same propensity was typical of Dylan Thomas, who from an early age focused on developing his poetry, to the exclusion of virtually all other academic interests ("Thomas"). In this project he seems to have been coddled and protected by a doting mother (Ferris 38-39). However, Ferris speculates, based on Freudian theory, that the fact that Thomas had a cot in his parents' bedroom in his formative years contributed to the evidence of limited basic life-coping skills such as preparing food and eating properly on one hand, and on the other overcompensating by heedless exercise of the libido and overindulgence in alcohol (Ferris 40). Further, the obviously doted-upon Thomas never conquered fears of being praised despite his inadequacy as a poet. A statement made in 19...

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Life and Work of Dylan Thomas. (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 21:51, July 01, 2022, from