How does Dylan Thomas use imagery in his poems?
In 1934, Dylan Thomas’s first book, 18 Poems (which brought him fame), was published. While other poets of the 30s were mainly focused on social issues, Thomas set about writing poetry dealing with the question of man’s nature, especially the subconscious. Thomas’s central theme is the circle of life and death, being and non-being.
Already in the first collection, a characteristic feature of his work transpires. It is a complex, musical, a-logical poetic language, wherein contradicting images flow into one another:
Before I knocked and flesh let enter,
With liquid hands tapped on the womb,
I who was shapeless as the water
That shaped the Jordan near my home
Was brother to Mnetha's daughter
And sister to the fathering worm. (1, p. 7)
In the next collection, Twenty-Five Poems (1936), his creative manner becomes more mature, and his syntax and imagery grow more complex. In his poems, despair and hope, life and death, and love and darkness are intertwined in most intricate metaphors which are weaved...
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