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Selected Poems

4.27  ·  Rating Details ·  452 Ratings  ·  34 Reviews
A collection of poems that aims to celebrate both inner and outer landscapes in the face of motality and decay, human weakness and shortcomings.
Paperback, 160 pages
Published March 30th 2000 by Penguin Books, Limited (UK) (first published January 1st 1975)
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(showing 1-30 of 799)
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Mar 11, 2011 Nikki rated it it was amazing
Shelves: poetry, welsh-writing
What can one say about Dylan Thomas that has not been said? I suspect I start many of my reviews of classic books like that, but it's true -- I don't know where to start. Dylan Thomas' poetry is amazing, particularly the ones like 'Prologue', where the first line rhymes with the last, the second with the penultimate line, etc... and it's 102 lines long. I love the ones that work with content appropriate to the form, like the perennial example of his villanelle, 'Do not go gentle into that good n ...more
Jul 21, 2007 Anna rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
On Belatedly Reading Dylan Thomas for the First Time

My God, I’ve blundered into
a fairy-tale forest, thick whiskey-
cloying dark, yellow eyes
lurking, trees charred to ash
still bearing rotten fruit. The taste
of blood and plums. Christ
breaking on the cobblestones.
Death’s feather, not raven but
peacock, teasing the keys from
the lock, the locks from the knot,
across the worm-eaten pillow I
lie lost, seduced, buried in moss,
waiting for the white horses
to drown me like sorrow.
Aug 08, 2016 Kelly rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: dnf
I tried... I really did. I read a good twenty poems before this decision and there was only one I liked. It takes a very special poet to grab me and, as sad as this makes me, Dylan just wasn't the one. Was really rooting for this because of our Welsh connection :( maybe I'll try his play instead.
Norbert P
Apr 12, 2016 Norbert P rated it really liked it
As always with Dylan Thomas, the first impression is not going to be the last one. Rereading the poems or reading them over and over again, they unravel the mysteries they first invent with at first sight seemingly inappropriate expressions and words that finally find their place in the poem and could not have been better chosen. From easily accessable lyric like 'The force that through the green fuse drives the flower' or 'Death shall have no dominion' of his earlier years to more complicated p ...more
Lucas Miller
Oct 31, 2015 Lucas Miller rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I gave this five stars. I didn't like it enough for five stars, but this is my major problem with Goodreads. Thomas' poems are obviously hugely important to 20th century poetry, and the there were many poems in this collection, including all the famous ones, that I really love. For the most part though, I read this before going to bed and in between doing actual work. Thomas's voice is heavy, laden with primal images and constantly reverting to the landscape of Western Wales. Or what other books ...more
Jan 15, 2016 Sofia rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I love poetry in general. This collection made it very clear however, that I do not like, do not understand and do not enjoy the poetry of Dylan Thomas. Every poem just sounds like random words thrown together, like an attempt to name some indie band. He uses a great many adjectives that give his poetry the appearance of beauty but really serve no purpose. It's all completely subjective of course, but I'd like to read something that sounds like somewhat coherent English, instead or random words ...more
May 17, 2014 Francine rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
His poems are hunting and very dark... if you fear death PLEASE read his poems, they will haunt you in good sort of way. Love Dylan Thomas!

... and please, "Do not go gentle into that good night" ...rage, rage, against the dying of the light...

** I love how John Cale from the Velvet Underground ( a classical educated musician) arranged this poem into a beautiful classical composition.** Cale is another genius. It ALWAYS brings chills to my spine when I listen to it. Just Beautiful! :)

May 09, 2014 Ryan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Wow. Dylan Thomas was intense. I find his poetry very very difficult to understand. I put the 2 "very"s on it for emphasis. I liked his poetry from later in life a lot better than his earlier poetry. His earlier poetry puts off a vibe of just trying to be clever and strange. Later, he was still clever and strange, but somehow with greater purpose. There's always mystery in his poems. Which I like.

It's strange to think that his most famous poem "do not go gentle into that good night" was written
Matthew Baskerville
May 11, 2014 Matthew Baskerville rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
These selected poems of Dylan Thomas are beautiful to read, sound beautiful, and are beautiful to think about long after the book has been put down. Thomas’s talent for framing a poem in lyrical verse, while maintaining a contemporary sense of subject and theme, is impressive and succeeds in creating a lasting impact on the reader. As a writer, I view Thomas’s poems as the type of lyricism and imagery that I would like to include in the more stream of consciousness elements I envision for my cha ...more
Stefani Akins
Mar 22, 2014 Stefani Akins rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
When I first picked up this book, I could barely make heads or tails of a lot of it. That hasn't changed. I find many of Thomas' poems difficult to read and even more difficult to understand. They are often like fragmented visions of dreams or pieces of fairytales, but those I've managed to wrap my head around have carried quite an impact. That is the reason for the four-star rating. Luckily, this book contains a (sadly) small appendix of notes which often help demystify the writing.

Because of t
Some of the most jaw-dropping, awe-inspiring, envy-inciting poems I've ever had the privilege of reading (and continuously rereading).

This collection is very tight - all of the works fit neatly together, and the lack of variation in poetic maturity throughout is once again mind-boggling. To think of the young age at which Thomas began writing is truly remarkable, and it's almost unbelievable how he retained his creative powers throughout his career.

If ever I am in doubt of anything in my life, f
Jul 11, 2007 Sue rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Probably one his best known villanelles for a reason...because it's so damn good.

First stanza:

Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Thomas wrote this upon his father's impending death. Though it is clearly addressing his father directly, it rather reads as if Thomas wrote it more for his own comfort.

This is also very good:

....Oh as I was young and easy in the mercy of his means,
Time held me green and dying
Feb 13, 2016 Annah rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"Oh as I was young and easy in the mercy of his means / time held me green and dying / though I sang in my chains like the sea." Dylan Thomas has been an absolute favorite since I was sixteen; he only gets more luminous with time. Elegant and fresh and heartfelt.
Jun 23, 2014 Hannah rated it really liked it
I will be honest. I couldn't understand all of the poems in this book (it was only after beating my head up against Google trying to decipher some of them that I realised there were Explanatory Notes in the back of the book....D'oh. I swear, if Life came with instructions I'd lose them) but I don't read poetry primarily for understanding. I read it for the words used, the images and places and people it delivers into my quivering soggy-walnut brain.
I especially liked "A Winter's Tale" for its ot
Bobbi Martens
Dylan Thomas was gifted with words. Some staggering lines; surprising verb choices, strong nouns and great alliteration, among other things. But there is a reason that "Fern Hill" and "Do Not Go Gentle" are the only ones you've heard of (and Fern Hill, by the way, is one of my favorite poems ever). Most of the others are just not that awesome. Or appropriate. Or even intelligible, sometimes. Ones I starred were few: "This Bread I Break," "Here In This Spring," "Why East Wind Chills," "The Hand T ...more
Feb 17, 2014 Starr rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Beautiful. Please read.
Dec 18, 2007 Grant rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry
his poetry is lyric, is dramatic. his use of the villanelle and even the use of repetition in general when he does not use that form is haunting in its rhythm. hsi poetry is filled with rants and defiance against death and mortality: "do not go gentle into that good night", "and death shall have no dominion", "a winter's tale". moreover his lines feel oddly like conversation at times, so beautifully common at times. he's just great.
May 10, 2007 Casey rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: adults
When I moved into my dorm room freshman year, I noticed that the previous occupant had taped Do Not Go Gentle into that Good Night on the back wall of my bookshelf. I realize now the cheesiness it requires to type up the poem, cut it out, and tape it up, but back then, I thought it was rock 'n' roll.
Asra Ghouse
Dec 26, 2013 Asra Ghouse rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: must-reads, poetry
Would you believe me if I said his poetry is harder to understand than Wordsworth's?
But once you get it, you'll never forget it. I couldn't help but think about his life and the struggles he must've had--to write poems of such intensity, how scarred could he have been?
"Not for the proud man apart
From the raging moon I write
On these spindrift pages
Nor for the towering dead
With their nightingales and psalms
But for the lovers, their arms
Round the griefs of the ages,
Who pay no praise or wages
Nor heed my craft or art."
Belinda Bekkers
Nov 17, 2014 Belinda Bekkers rated it it was amazing
I love this book. It lives in my bedside table where I can pick it up any night to read a poem, or just a line or two.

The time line at the front of the book gives a glimpse of Thomas's life and the notes at the back give the reader an insight into each poem.
Jun 27, 2013 Ke rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I don't know if it is because I have been in law school for a year, but I found that most of Thomas' poems lacked logic. That said, what they lacked in logic, they made it up in musicality and beauty. Overall, I loved Thomas' unique voice.
Apr 11, 2011 Hannah rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
AP Lit rekindled my love for Dylan Thomas <3 "Do Not Go Gentle" is one of my favorite poems of all time. I really got into some of his other ones, but this one remains my favorite!
Jul 23, 2007 Karen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I love his writing and I love going to the White Horse Tavern and imagining what it was like when he sat around with Ginsberg, Kerouac and others.
David Christian
Apr 17, 2014 David Christian rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I think I've read everything in this collection at least once, but I'll be going back over it many times. Great poetry I don't read once.
May 10, 2007 Jan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry
Thomas is another early favorite.

Listen to him reading them, if you get a chance.
Al Santiago
How this man could sling booze like he did and write such intricate prose is a miracle in itself. Helluva poet.
Dec 04, 2014 P rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Dylan Thomas, poet, on the vagina: a "bread and milk mansion in a toothless town."
Dec 01, 2008 Cassie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
a stellar collection of poems from my favorite adulterous drunk.
Mar 20, 2007 Chris rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Probably my favorite poet - I'll be reading this my whole life.
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  • Selected Poems
  • Selected Poems and Letters
  • New Selected Poems, 1957-1994
  • Selected Poems
  • Selected Poems
  • Collected Poems: 1945-1990 R.S.Thomas: Collected Poems : R S Thomas
  • Selected Poems
  • I Praise My Destroyer: Poems
  • Aurora Leigh and Other Poems
  • The Ballad of Reading Gaol and Other Poems
  • The Complete Poems
  • Selected Poems
  • Selected Poems
  • Selected Poems, 1966-1987
  • The Sacred Wood
  • Selected Poems
  • Poetry of the Thirties
  • Poems and Fragments
Dylan Marlais Thomas was a Welsh poet who wrote in English. He is regarded by many as one of the 20th century's most influential poets.

In addition to poetry, Thomas also wrote short stories and scripts for film and radio, with the latter frequently performed by Thomas himself. His public readings, particularly in America, won him great acclaim; his booming, at times ostentatious, voice with a subt
More about Dylan Thomas...

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