I first became interested in Dylan Thomas’s poetry because I heard a rumor that Bob Dylan changed his last name from Zimmerman to Dylan as a homage to Thomas. As a teenager interested in Bob Dylan and his song about smoking pot, naturally my interest was piqued.
When I was in my early 20s at Trinity in Dublin, I found myself sitting in the wrong class with students who looked much older than I did. Most of them wore glasses that sat low on their noses, and they had books that looked well-worn and well-read. I felt too sheepish to leave, so I took a seat in the back and feigned ignorance when my name didn’t appear on the class register. It was a Dylan Thomas colloquium, and I happily missed an Introduction to Irish Literature to sit in on it. It’s one of my favorite memories of my time in Dublin– stumbling upon a poetry class by happenstance, slinking into the back corner of the room, listening to older students with Irish accents read poetry. I want to romanticize it even more because that’s how I remember it, but I’ll restrain myself!
“Clown in the Moon” is one of my absolute favorite Dylan Thomas poems. I’ve read it innumerable times, and each time I could daydream about its imagery and its meaning for an afternoon. What do you think about the title and its implications for the poem? I hope you enjoy this poem as much as I do! lv, molly
Clown in the Moon
My tears are like the quiet drift
Of petals from some magic rose;
And all my grief flows from the rift
Of unremembered skies and snows.
I think, that if I touched the earth,
It would crumble;
It is so sad and beautiful,
So tremulously like a dream.
Image via here.