New Directions Paperbook 316

My adolescent breviary,

my teenage siddur

my Book of Common Prayer

when I was young and easy,

the best instruction manual

I ever had for learning

my craft and sullen art,


I carried you everywhere

in all kinds of weather.

You took a beating!

I kept you together

with innumerable little ribbons

of Scotch tape.


I drank from you

deep draughts of lyric moonshine.

I loved you like the frosty fingers

of the winter-tinged October wind.


"Who's Dye-lin Thomas?"

the neighborhood kids would ask me.

My corrections were not always gentle!


The sharp edges of your pages

grew blunted with the wear of the elements

and my incessant thumbing.


I'll still quote from you,

chapter and verse,

at the drop of an iamb.


I can still hear the raven

cough in its winter sticks.

I can still feel the force

that through the green fuse

drove flowers of fire ---

the bard of Laugharne

brandy and ripe

in his bright eternal prime.

Poetry by Thomas DeFreitas The PoetBay support member heart!
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Written on 2018-11-07 at 03:29

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Lawrence Beck The PoetBay support member heart!
I've had that very book on my shelf for decades. Such passion issues from it (though not always a great deal of coherence).

A great homage to Dylan Thomas. Love the way you've used some of his lines, twisting and turning them, making them your own.


jim The PoetBay support member heart!
What was it about Dye-lin that so caught your imagination?