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Dylan Thomas

This morning, as I study for my Hebrew exam, I was taking a short break and flipping through a book that a friend bought me for Christmas a couple of years ago. Dylan Thomas is one of his favorite poets and I think he’ll become one of mine before too much longer.

I must admit that poetry is a language which is, despite my being a composer, continually foreign to me. I’m much more at home in the language of the textbook or other prose; and yet, as a musician, poetry calls to me. This poem certainly did.

 And death shall have no dominion.
Dead men naked they shall be one
With the man in the wind and the west moon;
When their bones are picked clean and the clean bones gone,
They shall have stars at elbow and foot;
Though they go mad they shall be sane,
Though they sink through the sea they shall rise again;
Though lovers be lost love shall not;
And death shall have no dominion.

And death shall have no dominion.
Under the windings of the sea
They lying long shall not die windily;
Twisting on racks when sinews give way,
Strapped to a wheel, yet they shall not break;
Faith in their hands shall snap in two,
And the unicorn evils run them through;
Split all ends up they shan’t crack;
And death shall have no dominion.

And death shall have no dominion.
No more may gulls cry at their ears
Or waves break loud on the seashores;
Where blew a flower may a flower no more
Lift its head to the blows of the rain;
Though they be mad and dead as nails,
Heads of the characters hammer through daisies;
Break in the sun till the sun breaks down,
And death shall have no dominion.