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Poem In October Analysis

Author: Poetry of Dylan Thomas Type: Poetry Views: 4030

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It was my thirtieth year to heaven

Woke to my hearing from harbour and neighbour woodAnd the mussel pooled and the heronPriested shoreThe morning beckon

With water praying and call of seagull and rook

And the knock of sailing boats on the net webbed wallMyself to set footThat secondIn the still sleeping town and set forth.My birthday began with the water-

Birds and the birds of the winged trees flying my nameAbove the farms and the white horsesAnd I roseIn rainy autumn

And walked abroad in a shower of all my days.

High tide and the heron dived when I took the roadOver the borderAnd the gatesOf the town closed as the town awoke.A springful of larks in a rolling

Cloud and the roadside bushes brimming with whistlingBlackbirds and the sun of OctoberSummeryOn the hill's shoulder,

Here were fond climates and sweet singers suddenly

Come in the morning where I wandered and listenedTo the rain wringingWind blow coldIn the wood faraway under me.Pale rain over the dwindling harbour

And over the sea wet church the size of a snailWith its horns through mist and the castleBrown as owlsBut all the gardens

Of spring and summer were blooming in the tall tales

Beyond the border and under the lark full cloud.There could I marvelMy birthdayAway but the weather turned around.It turned away from the blithe country

And down the other air and the blue altered skyStreamed again a wonder of summerWith applesPears and red currants

And I saw in the turning so clearly a child's

Forgotten mornings when he walked with his motherThrough the parablesOf sun lightAnd the legends of the green chapelsAnd the twice told fields of infancy

That his tears burned my cheeks and his heart moved in mine.These were the woods the river and seaWhere a boyIn the listening

Summertime of the dead whispered the truth of his joy

To the trees and the stones and the fish in the tide.And the mysterySang aliveStill in the water and singingbirds.And there could I marvel my birthday

Away but the weather turned around. And the trueJoy of the long dead child sang burningIn the sun.It was my thirtieth

Year to heaven stood there then in the summer noon

Though the town below lay leaved with October blood.O may my heart's truthStill be sungOn this high hill in a year's turning.


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||| Analysis | Critique | Overview Below |||

.: :.

And as i was green and carefree,famous among the barns
about the yard and singing as the farm was home
in the sun that is young once only
Timr let play and be
golden in the mercy of this mean

| Posted on 2013-11-20 | by a guest

.: :.

Essentially one should note that the poet starts off by stating his age in terms of being on his way through life to \'heaven\'- a very optomistic point of view, in contrast to eg. \"It was my thirtieth year to \'death\', or retrospectively: \"It was my thirtieth year from \'birth\'. He then lists the familiar sounds and sights of the seaside fishing village in which he has lived all his life, and with beautiful vivid and reverent imagery he defines himself as being synonymous and intimate with nature and symbolically the seasons; ascending literally and metaphorically from the sea-side morning of his youth into the mid-day mountains of his later years. And looking back from a distant he sees how things predominant can look so small and insignificant from an elevated perspective. The church with its steeples looks like a tiny snail with feelers, and the castle towers look like brown owls.. A poem so rich in imagery.
And note -\"the heron dived...over the border\" - over the hill, over the \'boundary\' between this life and the next, driven away from the sea-shore by the in-coming tide. Herons typically do not dive in water. The stately \'priestly\' heron and stirring water \'praying\' is a striking picture of silent reverence.

| Posted on 2012-01-23 | by a guest

.: :.

It would be worthwhile to look at the poem as an extended metaphor. While doing this, follow the theme of movement that exists throughout the poem. There is very little in this poem which is not connected to movement in some way or other. Having done this, look at the rhythm and movement of the language of the poem.
Is this poem's theme: the journey through life to death; climbing a hill; getting older; bringing one nearer to heaven, and god? Does the poet argue: God is found in nature, not a church? Does he say that the Church confounds understanding of God with 'its horns through the mist?' Does he really say that the Church is unimportant and slow moving and small - 'the size of a snail?' Note how this contrasts with 'the mystery sang alive still in the water and singingbirds.' The mystery being the mystery of the creation, of life life.
'Flying my name' probably links to 'woke to my hearing' in that the poet is emphasizing that the birds, the 'winged trees,' the beauty of nature, exists for him alone: He is the only witness. The transferred epithet is a device that this poet uses in a masterful way.
I do not see any spelling mistakes in the actual poem itself but if there were, would it make any real difference? And if there were, and if the poet were alive to hear the complaints, would he just shrug, content in the knowledge that the criticism has been created merely to make the complainant feel superior? I think so.

| Posted on 2008-11-08 | by a guest

.: Poem In October :.

Re: Message posted on 11192004 The person who posted the message on 11192004 clearly needs to grow up instead of writing a childish message such as this. If criticizing others is your main hobby in life then that is quite pathetic. In your message you blatantly state that this website is not to be defaced. Yet I have already found three mistakes in your message. First you misspelled the word "unappreciative". Secondly a sentence should never begin with the word "also". Thirdly when

| Posted on 2007-12-15 | by a guest

.: Reply to Reply :.

You are one to speak, seeing as you start a sentence with 'also.' This is a common grammatical error. As is starting a sentence with a small letter...One should thoroughly check one's comment before posting it. I believe these are all personal interpretations of the poem and should not be criticised in such a manner.

| Posted on 2007-03-25 | by a guest

.: :.

In relation to what was said about "heron priested" above, I believe Thomas is being critical of the priesthood, by linking a heron in this way. The heron is a solitary creature and quite arroagant in the way it stands with its head held high. I think he is critising the leaders of the church for misleading people. This idea is continued through out the poem when Thomas says " church the size of a snail with its horns through mist". I beleive the mist hear is not that of the weather, it is a mist of confusion which lingers in religion as a whole and this is the point I feel Thomas is trying to put across. He feels God can only be found in nature, not in organised religion. He says," Through the parables of sunlight and the legends of green chapels"

| Posted on 2006-05-09 | by Approved Guest

.: :.

Este poema, se torna denso y cyclico. Uno podría decir que Thomas, esta deprimido por estar creciendo y volviendose viejo. Se lo nota melancolico, nostalgico al ver como le pasa la vida frente a los ojos. Por ende vive la vida pensando en la muerte, hasta que en su cumpleaños de 30, se percata de que en el fondo, queda mucho más por vivir. Su constante utilizacion de imagenes, plegadas a la naturaleza hacen a uno creer que Dylan, era alguien que le gustaba cojer. La habra metido, en su vida, menos d una ves, y taba siempre tocandose, pensando en la naturaleza. Muchas Gracias! Grazzie di tutto! Merci Beaucoup! Thank You!

| Posted on 2005-08-16 | by Approved Guest

.: :.

The speaker, almost certainly Thomas himself, observes his seaside hometown from the hills on the early morning of his thirtieth birthday. The natural beauty offers him an opportunity to reflect on his life and to revisit lost childhood memories. In spite of the mortality of the last stanza, the poem is practically cheerful.
Thomas' choice of words conveys a sense of wonderment and awe with the natural world. He says, "there I could marvel my birthday away" which suggests that he is content to just stay there forever and observe the weather and the view. That the "morning beckon(s)" the poet to set foot "that second", as soon as he wakes up at dawn when the town is "still sleeping", suggests a sense of purpose. The similes used to described the town suggest that it is part of the natural environment, with its "sea wet church the size of a snail" and the castle that is "brown as owls". The description of "the woods the river and the sea" without any commas also suggests that what the poet sees is all one, as if he is in a state of heightened awareness and all the elements of the environment blend into one another. The speaker "walked through a shower of all my days" which suggests that it is raining heavily. The alliterative aural image of "rain wringing" and assonant aural image of "wind blowing cold" perform the sound of heavy rain and the howling of the wind respectively. Recollecting his childhood memories, Thomas tells of a time when "a boy (…) whispered the truth of his joy to the trees and the stones and the fish in the tide". This again concerns the joys of beholding the "mystery" of nature. The speaker experiences the same mystery and joy he felt as a child, as it "sang alive still in the water and singing birds".
The symbols and images of the natural world are used by Thomas to express how he feels about death and childhood.

"Springful of larks in a rolling cloud" suggests to me that there are so many larks flying together that they appear to "roll" like a "cloud". The same image is repeated in the next stanza as the poet stands "under the lark full cloud".

| Posted on 2005-08-13 | by Approved Guest

.: Reply :.

The first two comments posted display a vulgar and unappretiative mind. It is obvious that the authors have so low an I.Q., judging by their spelling, that their opinion is not worth bothering about. Their terrible mental state should be a cause for concern and pity for those who interact with the writers of such a comment. Also, i am sure it would not go without a sigh of relief if such superfluous comments were kept to oneself. you may, in short, wallow in your ignorance, but you may not be such a public nuisance. this is a website dedicated towards a respectable cause and it is not for you to deface

| Posted on 2004-11-19 | by Approved Guest

.: :.

This poem is about a man who has turned 30, and goes out to have a walk, reflecting on life. He reflects about how his inner child is now gone. "Year to heaven" could possibly mean that he beliefs it is his thirtieth year in his journey to heaven. He first describes the harbour and whe woods, which are by his house. In the shore there is a heron, which is a black, elegant bird with long, thin legs. He describes the shore as "heron priested" probably meaning that it is nicer, just with the presence of the heron. The water is praying(personification). This is probably because of the heron, because as a priest has to do with religion, the water is "praying". Then he talks about other birds, "seagull and rook". After describing the scene, the man goes out of his house, the town "still sleeping"(personification). The town is not really sleeping, it is the people in it.
In the next stanza, we realize that, indeed, it is his birthday. He describes the trees being "winged". This gives an impression that the trees are alive, but actually they are not; they are probably being blown by the wind, and moving, so they look as though they are flying. He says "trees flying my name". Dylan, the name of the author, is welsh, and means tide or sea, so probably "flying my name" means that they are being blown by the tide. Then, he keeps on walking "in a shower of all my days". This means that it is raining hard. The tide rises, and the heron dives into the water. Then, he turned("I took the road over the border") and the gates closed behind him, ast the people awoke.
In this stanza he talks about a "springful of larks in a rolling cloud". Larks are birds, so this probably means that there is a large quantity of birds, flying all clusteres todether, so it looks like a cloud of birds which is "rolling", because the birds are moving. At the roadside there are "bushes brimming with whistling blackbirds". This means that there is all along the roadside a line of bushes, with birds singing. It is sunny. He is on the "hil's shoulder", which means that he is at the top of the hill. He looks back, and sees the wood below him, with the "rain wringing", meaning that the rain is making a sound.
In the next stanza, he says that he pursued his birthday

| Posted on 2004-09-28 | by Approved Guest

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