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Posts Tagged ‘Dylan Thomas

Doubting Thomas a Little Less

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Doubting Thomas...a Little LessAh, nice, quite nice! I’m on a self-imposed routine to re-read one of Dylan Thomas’ poems per day through the rest of this summer and into the autumn, anticipating completing that re-reading course on October 27 of this year, the 100th anniversary of the birth of the poet.

To set my re-reading schedule, I’d relied on my own personal collection’s copy of Collected Poems of Dylan Thomas 1934-1952 (1971 New Directions paperback), together with a few other DT poems picked up elsewhere along the way. But then a few weeks before I was set to launch my DT re-reading, I lost track of where I’d left my book. Turns out I’d moved it from my bookshelves to my transit bag seeing most current Starbucks action . . . then hadn’t been to Starbucks for several weeks due to other activities. But by the time I relocated my own book (thanks, Suzi), I’d requested backup from my local library, which had to order theirs from another library branch somewhere else in the county.

Theirs came in sometime the past several days, but I waited to pick it up until I was ready to return the Stevie Smith poetry book I had out on an extended loan. Because I’d since found my own Dylan Thomas volume, I came close to just leaving theirs, which after a 9-day holding period would have been shipped back to its own library branch like an illegal immigrant. Ah, but it wouldn’t hurt to keep the library’s copy on my nightstand and send my own copy back to my Starbucks travel kit, right?

Turns out that I did right to proceed with borrowing the library version: The Poems of Dylan Thomas (1971 New Directions hardbound). Hardbound, paperpack, whatever – either way, they’re both New Directions publications copyrighted in 1971, so the library gives me a suitable substitute, right? Ummm, no . . . better! At first perusal while waiting in the check-out line at the library, it appears that this library book has all of the poems of my book, plus all the extra ones I’d collected along the way plus several I don’t recall ever having seen before! (I shouldn’t be so hard on myself about it — after all, I’m a general poetry reader, not a Dylan Thomas scholar, so I only had a vague impression that there was more out there beyond this DT-endorsed set I’d been re-reading since my college days.)

Anyway, since I’m already a week into my re-reading schedule, I’ll be doubling up on a few days, first re-reading the poem I’d originally scheduled for a particular day, then adding a first-time reading of a DT poem I’ll not have seen before, how many newbies on how many two-poem days yet to be determined over the course of the coming weeks as I explore this library book.

Sometimes you have to lose something you know you still have in order to find something you didn’t know you were missing.

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Written by macheide

23 July 2014 at 4:03 pm

Posted in grolier

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