maandag, november 10, 2003

Adieu, Dylan

1953 -- Welsh poet Dylan Thomas dies, age 39,following a six-day coma brought on by drinking 18 straight whiskeys in a New York tavern. At the funeral parlor, a friend looking down at the body with its rouged face & garish suit, carnation in buttonhole, says: "He would never have been seen dead in it."

"I hold a beast, an angel, & a
madman in me, & my enquiry is as to
their working, & my problem is their
subjugation & victory, downthrow &
upheaval, & my effort is their


The hand that signed the paper felled a city;
Five sovereign fingers taxed the breath,
Doubled the globe of dead & halved a country;
These five kings did a king to death.

The mighty hand leads to a sloping shoulder,
The finger joints are cramped with chalk;
A goose's quill has put an end to murder
That put an end to talk.

The hand that signed the treaty bred a fever,
& famine grew, & locusts came;
Great is the hand the holds dominion over
Man by a scribbled name.

The five kings count the dead but do not soften
The crusted wound nor pat the brow;
A hand rules pity as a hand rules heaven;
Hands have no tears to flow.

— Dylan Thomas


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