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Poem On His Birthday Analysis

Author: Poetry of Dylan Thomas Type: Poetry Views: 490

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In the mustardseed sun,

By full tilt river and switchback seaWhere the cormorants scud,

In his house on stilts high among beaksAnd palavers of birds

This sandgrain day in the bent bay's graveHe celebrates and spurns

His driftwood thirty-fifth wind turned age;Herons spire and spear.Under and round him go

Flounders, gulls, on their cold, dying trails,Doing what they are told,

Curlews aloud in the congered wavesWork at their ways to death,

And the rhymer in the long tongued room,Who tolls his birthday bell,

Toils towards the ambush of his wounds;Herons, steeple stemmed, bless.In the thistledown fall,

He sings towards anguish; finches flyIn the claw tracks of hawks

On a seizing sky; small fishes glideThrough wynds and shells of drowned

Ship towns to pastures of otters. HeIn his slant, racking house

And the hewn coils of his trade perceivesHerons walk in their shroud,The livelong river's robe

Of minnows wreathing around their prayer;And far at sea he knows,

Who slaves to his crouched, eternal endUnder a serpent cloud,

Dolphins dive in their turnturtle dust,The rippled seals streak down

To kill and their own tide daubing bloodSlides good in the sleek mouth.In a cavernous, swung

Wave's silence, wept white angelus knells.Thirty-five bells sing struck

On skull and scar where his loves lie wrecked,Steered by the falling stars.

And to-morrow weeps in a blind cageTerror will rage apart

Before chains break to a hammer flameAnd love unbolts the darkAnd freely he goes lost

In the unknown, famous light of greatAnd fabulous, dear God.

Dark is a way and light is a place,Heaven that never was

Nor will be ever is always true,And, in that brambled void,

Plenty as blackberries in the woodsThe dead grow for His joy.There he might wander bare

With the spirits of the horseshoe bayOr the stars' seashore dead,

Marrow of eagles, the roots of whalesAnd wishbones of wild geese,

With blessed, unborn God and His Ghost,And every soul His priest,

Gulled and chanter in young Heaven's foldBe at cloud quaking peace,But dark is a long way.

He, on the earth of the night, aloneWith all the living, prays,

Who knows the rocketing wind will blowThe bones out of the hills,

And the scythed boulders bleed, and the lastRage shattered waters kick

Masts and fishes to the still quick starts,Faithlessly unto HimWho is the light of old

And air shaped Heaven where souls grow wildAs horses in the foam:

Oh, let me midlife mourn by the shrinedAnd druid herons' vows

The voyage to ruin I must run,Dawn ships clouted aground,

Yet, though I cry with tumbledown tongue,Count my blessings aloud:Four elements and five

Senses, and man a spirit in loveTangling through this spun slime

To his nimbus bell cool kingdom comeAnd the lost, moonshine domes,

And the sea that hides his secret selvesDeep in its black, base bones,

Lulling of spheres in the seashell flesh,And this last blessing most,That the closer I move

To death, one man through his sundered hulks,The louder the sun blooms

And the tusked, ramshackling sea exults;And every wave of the way

And gale I tackle, the whole world then,With more triumphant faith

That ever was since the world was said,Spins its morning of praise,I hear the bouncing hills

Grow larked and greener at berry brownFall and the dew larks sing

Taller this thunderclap spring, and howMore spanned with angles ride

The mansouled fiery islands! Oh,Holier then their eyes,

And my shining men no more aloneAs I sail out to die.


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