Going back to my trip to Wales this past summer, I'd like to tell you a bit about Dylan Thomas, who is considered to be "Britain's last romantic poet. Now poetry has never been my particular "thing," but after visiting his house in the small village of Laugharne, (pronounced |Larn) I recalled that I had read many of his poems throughout my life. To begin with, here's a bit about him from Wikipedia:
"Dylan Marlais Thomas 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 widely popular in his lifetime and remained so after his premature death at the age of 39 in New York City. By then, he had acquired a reputation, which he had encouraged, as a "roistering, drunken and doomed poet".
Arriving in Laugharne, Liz and I parked along the estuary of the River Taf - below the homes straight ahead in the photo from Mr. Google. You can see Dylan Thomas' boathouse on the right just above the water line.
We headed past the ruins of Laugharne Castle (built in 1116) hanging above us on the cliff and climbed the path that would bring us to not only Dylan Thomas' house, but also to the shed where he did most of his writing.
First, we found the shed and peered inside.
It was locked to preserve the interior and its contents, but by putting my camera right up to the window, I was able to get this shot. Thomas' jacket hangs over his chair in front of a window out of which he would gather inspiration from the spectacular views across the estuary. There was a small pot belly stove and wood beside it so he could keep warm in the cold winter months and a bookshelf that appeared to be as he would have left it. Do you see the crumpled up pieces of paper under the desk? A true writer of the times - no "delete" key then!
Outside the shed, on a sign posted in his memory is one of his famous poems, fitting the season in which we are now, "Poem in October." The photo isn't great, but it was the best I could get at the time. And I feel honoured that I share an October birthday with this famous poet.
Liz and I then continued further along the path admiring the views until we found the steps down to Dylan Thomas' house. The first thing I noticed was a pair on long johns hanging from a tree and blowing gently in the breeze. I laughed, but then realized that they would have been Thomas' and where he would have hung them to dry - as there was no washing machine or dryer in the house. This bit of history was the introduction to his house where things had been left (or placed) as they would have been while he was in residence. Tourists are not allowed to take photographs inside the house, but I did get several good ones of the views Thomas would have had. If you're interested in seeing the interior of the house, just look up Dylan Thomas Boathouse online.
I was thrilled that Liz asked me if I'd like to stop by to see this area, as we'd already spent half the day in Tenby. Considering my bad back, I feel great that I was able to manage all that in one day...there was a lot of walking, but it was slow and meandering, and we took many small breaks. So, thank you Liz so very much! This post is dedicated to you in remembrance of a perfect visit!