A revolution in taste: Studies of Dylan Thomas, Allen by Louis Aston Marantz Simpson

By Louis Aston Marantz Simpson

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Additional resources for A revolution in taste: Studies of Dylan Thomas, Allen Ginsberg, Sylvia Plath, and Robert Lowell

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There is a reference to D. 56 "The stage is set for Thomas' distinctive organic imagery,"57 and, indeed, it appears that we can date the beginning of his "real" poetry from this incident. 58 He identified himself with his father, especially his father's voice. The ulcer was located in the mouth, at the base of the tongue-it was poetry, his identity, that was threatened. Therefore he began to write in earnest, drawing images from the physical body. Ever since he was a child he had lived in his body almost to the exclusion of thought.

Kenneth Rexroth testifies to the transformation wrought in San Francisco by Thomas's public readings. Ginsberg, however, disclaims the influence-"! like 'Fern Hill,' " said Ginsberg, speaking to students at Berkeley in the sixties, "it's something like 'Intimations of lmmortality'-but on the whole I don't really dig Thomas. He's too romantic. " Ginsberg went on to speculate about the psychology of Thomas and Hart Crane. to drink to get at it. " He said that Thomas and Crane were too influenced by people like Keats and Yeats and Bridges-whereat, says Ginsberg's biographer, his audience groaned.

Or the descriptiveness of "Over Sir John's Hill": Over Sir John's hill The hawk on fire hangs still; In a hoisted cloud, at drop of dusk, he pulls to his claws The Color of Saying 29 And gallows, up the rays of his eyes the small birds of the bay And the shrill child's play Wars Of the sparrows and such who swansing, dusk, in wrangling hedges ... 71 This can be easily understood, but it lacks the excitement of creation that we feel in the early poems; it is reporting the world rather than creating a world of its own.

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