The poetry of Dylan Thomas is deep, passionate, sensual, musical, forceful and simply magical to me. I remember I was awe-struck when I first read “The Force That Through the Green Fuse” at an English literature class. This year we will hear a lot about this poet, as it will be the 10th anniversary of his birth in October. He was yet another genius, whose art was complete and brilliant, but whose life was in complete disarray. Although he was admired by his contemporaries both at home and abroad (he had wildly successful poetry readings in the USA), he died in debt and most probably as a result of heavy drinking. He was only thirty-nine. Here is a clip of him reading his probably most famous poem “Do Not Go Gentle into That Good Night,” which he wrote while his father was on his deathbed. I hope you appreciate his Welsh accent and quite unique melodious reciting.
I tried to locate this magnetic force and consummate talent that he possessed in his natal chart. I am reproducing it here for those of you fascinated by astrology. I think the chart clearly shows the enormous depths his psyche was capable of plunging into.
The poem I wanted to share today is very special to me because it shows his unique myth making talents. It is his own myth of genesis – creation of the world – retold as if he had been there when the elements and matter were violently spun together and formed into matter from blood, breath, fire and love. The collection of images is quite astounding and what I have always found very appealing in his poetry is how body (substance), mind and soul/spirit rely on each other and how inseparable they are. Three is a very important number in the poem invoking both God and Goddess as the number of divine fullness.
“In the Beginning”
In the beginning was the three-pointed star,
One smile of light across the empty face,
One bough of bone across the rooting air,
The substance forked that marrowed the first sun,
And, burning ciphers on the round of space,
Heaven and hell mixed as they spun.
In the beginning was the pale signature,
Three-syllabled and starry as the smile,
And after came the imprints on the water,
Stamp of the minted face upon the moon;
The blood that touched the crosstree and the grail
Touched the first cloud and left a sign.
In the beginning was the mounting fire
That set alight the weathers from a spark,
A three-eyed, red-eyed spark, blunt as a flower,
Life rose and spouted from the rolling seas,
Burst in the roots, pumped from the earth and rock
The secret oils that drive the grass.
In the beginning was the word, the word
That from the solid bases of the light
Abstracted all the letters of the void;
And from the cloudy bases of the breath
The word flowed up, translating to the heart
First characters of birth and death.
In the beginning was the secret brain.
The brain was celled and soldered in the thought
Before the pitch was forking to a sun;
Before the veins were shaking in their sieve,
Blood shot and scattered to the winds of light
The ribbed original of love.