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Under Milk Wood

4.09  ·  Rating details ·  6,980 ratings  ·  479 reviews
A moving and hilarious account of a spring day in a small Welsh coastal town, Under Milk Wood is "lyrical, impassioned and funny, an Our Town given universality" (The New Statesman and Nation). ...more
Audio CD, BBC Radio Collection, 1 page
Published April 2nd 2001 by BBC Physical Audio (first published March 1954)
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Marqueemoon A bit late but for anyone considering getting an audio version I can highly recommend the 1954 version with Richard Burton from Naxos AudioBooks - as …moreA bit late but for anyone considering getting an audio version I can highly recommend the 1954 version with Richard Burton from Naxos AudioBooks - as well as Under Milk Wood there are a couple of radio broadcasts with Dylan Thomas reading his own work. There are other versions - a 1963 BBC play which also had Burton narrating and has lines not used in the 1954 version. I find the voices in the 54 reading much more captivating. IN the 63 version some actors seem to be the same as the 54 recording but some are definitely not. In both the songs are great, perfectly positioned, simple and natural. If I can't sleep I put this on my tablet, not because it is boring but because you can drift off into the world of llareggub and to the wonderful performances of the actors, most of whom must be dead after 60 plus years.(less)

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Petra X living life blissfully,not through books!
Some works of literature just beg to be read out loud - This is the House that Jack Built and Hiawatha are two that most people are familiar with. Under Milk Wood too, is better appreciated read aloud.

Try it for yourself. A sample (read aloud with Welsh accent, sing-song, go up like a question at the end of the line, extend vowels, as in 'weeedkiller' and emphasis is usually on the first syllable.)


Mr Pugh, in the School House opposite, takes up the morning
tea to Mrs Pugh, and whisper
Feb 20, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: The lovers, the dreamers, and me
Recommended to s.penkevich by: Lauren
Shelves: poetry, plays, dreamlike
We are not wholly bad or good, who live our lives under Milk Wood.

The voices of Dylan Thomas’ Under Milk Wood rise and fall, crashing into each other like waves under a milky moon, their sweet prose an effervescence of sounds and syllables to intoxicate the soul. This ‘play for voices’ follows the lives of the citizens of Milk Wood across a full day, bookmarked by the surrealistically sensational dream sequences of the two nights. The play simply engulfs you in its beautiful embrace, like the wa
Kevin Ansbro
I don't know Llarregub about many things, but I do know that Thomas's sloe black, crow black, boat-bobbing, poetic creation was one of the most enjoyable books I read in school.
If you haven't yet acquainted yourself with his rich rhetoric and magical mischievousness, then please do!
Kimber Silver
Originally written for BBC radio, the rise and fall of the voices are like the slow roll of the ocean. After reading it, I wished that I had opted for the audiobook. Under Milk Wood would be spectacular when read aloud.

The setting is a Welsh fishing village just tucking in for the night. From the first line, the dreamy lyrical prose captured my imagination, painting a clear picture of the locale and its residents.

"To begin at the beginning:
It is Spring, moonless night in the small town, starless
Mar 20, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: literature
I can honestly say that the world would be a lesser place if I had never read this play. It is not just that it is laugh-out-loud funny or that it is sad enough to make me weep - Captain Cat being forgotten by Rosie near the end is almost too painful to remember. But it is so full, so wonderfully overflowing with all the day to day concerns of life and love that it is a world in and of itself. Here is true creative genius.

From husbands purchasing books on how to poison their wives to the terribl
Thomas's voices are like a tide that's rising and falling in spite of the reader's convenience at the time of the reading. Like a choir of ghosts ignorant of their unsubstantial nature. I swear they gave me the chills a number of times while I was reading it during my night shift, not because it was particularly scary but because of the everyday humour and grief that they were drenched in. Such darkness, such humour, such insolent irony in such a haunting combination I've rarely come across, if ...more
Mar 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017
"This town's as full as a lovebird's egg."
- Dylan Thomas, Under Milk Wood


This book has languished on my shelf.
Left alone.

I bought this book years ago. It was a deal. It was a steal. It was $2 at Goodwill. I recognized Dylan Thomas and knew it was a Folio edition. $2? Value? Done. I brought it home, put it on the shelf. Thought about it only narrowly. I figured it was a book of poetry. Poems. Fights against the dying of the light and whatnots.

Nope. It is certainly poetic. Lyrical. Whims
I like Dylan Thomas for two reasons
1. I grew up in Wales
2. I read his book Under Milk Wood when I was in school.

Wales is a strange place to grow up. For a start you're told as a child that it's full of castles and dragons and daffodils and that there is evil over the border (England) and that Rugby is the one true sport. Some of those things are true. I'm sure even Dylan Thomas thought them from time to time. I lived outside Cardiff and Thomas was busily engaged in being Welsh in and around the
Not a play or a poem, exactly. This was written to be performed as a BBC radio drama, and it's about life in a sleepy town in Wales. We follow a few characters as they go from dream to wakefulness and then move through the rest of their day. We get to hear their thoughts and reflections as they do every day things. Sounds very dull, I know, which is why you have to read (or listen to) it for yourself.

In the tradition of small towns (both fictional and nonfictional), everyone has a big secret. Ea
A smorgasbord of language. I am still blown away every time I read that first measured sentence, about the woodland ‘limping invisible down to the sloeblack, slow, black, crowblack, fishingboat-bobbing sea’.

If you only knew Dylan Thomas from his short poems (as I did before I read this) then prepare for a very pleasant shock. The wonderful rhythm of the lines here, the extraordinary creativity of compound words and unexpected similes, all sustained over a considerable distance, is something quit
Steven Godin
Drama, poetry or comedy?, how about all of them. Centering around one day in a small, unexceptional Welsh coastal town. We first meet those who recide at a point before dawn, the night "flying like black flour", as the reader drifts off through the dark fields and streets, through the bedrooms of the sleeping residents and into their dreams. From there we watch as they wake up and work, following them out of bed over this one day and then finally back into bed as night falls.

The melodic and beau
Vit Babenco
Feb 04, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
“Sundown dazzling day gold through my eyes but my eyes turned within only see starless and bible black…” King CrimsonStarless.
Under Milk Wood has a texture of a lyrical myth so it is timeless…
People sleep and they dream... People wake up and they play fools, dawdle, muck around, misbehave, recollect, fantasize and build castles in the air…
“There's the clip clop of horses on the sun-honeyed cobbles of the humming streets, hammering of horse-shoes, gobble quack and cackle, tomtit twitter from t
Jul 07, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: plays-seen

Dylan Thomas originally intended this work to be radio play. However, my first experience of it was seeing the film adaptation narrated by Richard Burton, back when I was in high school in the 1970s. I remember two things about the experience: loving the sound of Richard Burton's voice, and feeling overwhelmed. This extract from the review in the New York Times goes some way to explaining my reaction:
Too many words, perhaps, for the stage. Too many words, I'm convinced, for the screen. It's not
Mar 15, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I remember the first time I came across Under Milk Wood, and it was when I was learning about imagery for my GCSEs. I fell in love with it - and, of course, with Richard Burton's beautiful First Voice.

One joy of being an English teacher is teaching your favourite texts to someone new - which I'm pretty sure was what was happening to to me, the first time I was taught this. It wasn't on the syllabus.

Another joy is that you can take playful, inventive, poetic language and give it to a kid who's in
Jane Jago
Jan 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This just takes my breath away.

The language. The evocation of time and place.

The exquisite rhythm.

I'm in love with this piece of work
J.A. Kahn
Feb 20, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I absolutely loved this radio play. It is a delicious peek into the lives of a sleepy Welsh fishing village and all the intrigues that go on in the peoples' lives.

The book is great fun to read in a group but I would recommend you hear the audio version (with Richard Burton as one of the narrators) to get a true feel for the musicality and poetic beauty of this book.
Jul 06, 2012 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: No one, for we must be compassionate to all sentient beings
Shelves: die-die-die, plays
If I could go back in time about 45 minutes ago and beat myself into a bloody, vegetative state, or at least into an illiterate delirium, so that I wouldn't have read this book, I would. If I could fit pliers into my ears so that I could rip out the sound of this play from my head forever, I would. If I could dig up Dylan Thomas' body and rig it with explosives and blow it up, making me blind from the concussion and so ensuring that I never accidentally read so much as a line of this again, beca ...more
Mark André
Weird. Short. Lyrical. Fun!
Aug 27, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
OK, I don't know what this is, but it's not your average play... Under Milk Wood is something else. It deserves its own category. Shortly before his death I reckon Dylan Thomas came sublimely close to the perfect narrative. Readers of 'Cold Comfort Farm' will definitely recognise an Aunt Ada Doom-ish humour that rides on the coattails of stream of consciousness.

Under Milk Wood is very hard to pin down as it's a mix of so many things, and that's what makes it so astonishingly brilliant. It delve
Jun 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
Wow, what a writer! This is a book I couldn’t let go. I reread some passages over and over just to enjoy the words.

What was most enjoyable was reading the play while listening to Richard Burton as the narrator. That is a treat! Try it.
Huda AbuKhoti
Jun 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wow... Yup, this is going in my recommendation list to other people whether they ask for it or not.
Jazzy Lemon
Jun 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I was in this play 13 years ago, and the story has only increased its charm.
Bam cooks the books ;-)
Here we enter the lives of the residents of Milk Wood, a Welsh seaside town, first through their dreams, then through their daytime interactions with each other. As in all of our lives, some moments are terribly laugh-out-loud funny, some poignantly sad. Dylan Thomas was quite the wordsmith! Sub-titled "A Play for Voices," I would love to hear voices perform this play someday. ...more
Sep 26, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: drama, modern-lit


Give me the parcel.

WILLY NILLY [postman whose wife reads all the mail to him before he delivers it:]

It's for Mr Pugh, Mrs Pugh.


Never you mind. What's inside it?


A book called Lives of the Great Poisoners.



Persons with manners do not read at table,


says Mrs Pugh. She swallows a digestive tablet as big as a
horse-pill, washing it down with clouded peasoup water.



Some persons were brought up in pigsties.


Pigs don't r
Dec 04, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Dylan Thomas fans, Richard Burton fans, poetry lovers
Recommended to Gary by: Colchester Royal Grammar School, c1976
Under Milk Wood is exactly what it says it is - a play for voices; and no-one's voice does it more justice than that of Richard Burton, a Welshman whose reading of this work is committed, passionate, resonant, rich and second-to-none.
I should also say that this is not a monologue. Burton is the narrator but there is also a full cast of actors reading all the parts, which brings the play to life and gives it depth.
If you liked reading the play, listen to this and feel its power. I might try liste
Lady Mayfair
[...] and you alone can hear the
invisible starfall, the darkest-beforedawn minutely dewgrazed
stir of the black, dab-filled sea where the Arethusa, the Curlew and the Skylark, Zanzibar, Rhiannon, the Rover, the Cormorant, and the Star of Wales tilt and ride.
Apr 16, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A radio 'feature', rather than a play, according to the introduction to my edition, Under Milk Wood is amazing. It's full of lively, unique description, a rapidfire sketch of village life. I can't even pick out a part I like best because all of it is vivacious and interesting. The description, on the first page, for just one example, of the night, 'starless and bible-black'. Dylan Thomas knew what he was doing when it came to language, at all times, and it shows.

The introduction to this edition,
Stuart Aken
Sep 16, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Many years ago, I bought the vinyl LP of the BBC radio production of Dylan Thomas’ Under Milk Wood. It’s subtitled, ‘A Play for Voices’, and that’s about as accurate a description as I can think of. The radio production is superb, with the brilliant Richard Burton articulating the First Voice in his own inimitable style. A wonderful listening experience.

But what of the text? I picked up a copy from a small independent bookshop whilst shopping in Beverley with my daughter for a student cook book,
Jan 31, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Believe it or not, this is the first time I have read this extraordinary play properly... We had to read it in school. I didn't really understand it back then, though I quite liked it. But I remembered very little of it, apart from the scene with the ghosts of Captain Cat's crewmen and the fact that one of the female characters used lipstick on her nipples (at the time I just found this inexplicable; now I find it merely eccentric). Although I dipped into the play in the ensuing years, I never r ...more
Dec 04, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: poetry
This 1954 BBC recording featuring Richard Burton is a tour de force performance. Dylan Thomas had a sensitive ear for the rhythms of speech that informed his accentual verse and an imaginative approach to descriptive language that contributed both to his immense popularity during his all-too-brief life and after and to the dismissal of his work by many modern academic poets unable to see his value because of their tunnel-vision views of what modern poetry should be. To hear his words brought to ...more
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Never too Late to...: 2019 October: Under Milk Wood by Dylan Thomas 37 21 Oct 20, 2019 11:28AM  
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Dylan Marlais Thomas was a Welsh poet who wrote in English. Many regard him as one of the 20th century's most influential poets.

In addition to poetry, Thomas 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 subtle Welsh li

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