Poem in October: Analysis
In his “Poem in October” Dylan Thomas describes in great detail his thirtieth birthday, which he celebrates in his hometown of Swansea, Wales, a small fishing village. He walks through the town very early in the morning, while its other inhabitants are still asleep, heading for the hill. He reflects on his life so far, marvelling the nature around him and is content to stay there, on the hill, observing nature around him, taking joy in it, till the weather makes an abrupt change. In that change, he seems to relive moments of his childhood, and a great feeling of joy surges through the poet, as the joys and mysteries of life seem to dance around him.
The poem is nothing short of delightful. Thomas uses the syllabic metre to great effect, for although there is no specified number of stresses, the number of syllables per line is specified. Thus, the syllables in each line in each stanza run: 9,12,9,3,5,12,12,5,3,9. Due to this metre, the poem can only be read at a certain pace, the words rolling along, thus giving the poem a flow and ease that, apart from the beauty it lends, create the feeling that the reader is alternately walking along with the poet though the town, swaying in the wind with the trees and streaming along with the other waves in the tide. Of course this is not the only technique used by Thomas in this poem, for we see again the use of the compressed metaphor, a common feature in his poetry. Here, the compressed metaphors enhance the effect created by the syllabic metre, in that they aid the flow of the poem, and enrich it, by adding another layer of intricacy.
Thomas Begins his poem with his moment of awakening, saying that his birthday “woke to my (his) hearing” with the sounds of nature, such as the “call of seagull and rook” and the “praying” of water. Thomas feels as though these sounds “beckon” him to “set foot... in the still sleeping town and set forth.” He walks through the still sleeping...
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