Dylan Thomas

(27 October 1914 – 9 November 1953 / Swansea / Wales)

A Child's Christmas in Wales


One Christmas was so much like another, in those years around the sea-town corner now and out of all sound except the distant speaking of the voices I sometimes hear a moment before sleep, that I can never remember whether it snowed for six days and six nights when I was twelve or whether it snowed for twelve days and twelve nights when I was six.

All the Christmases roll down toward the two-tongued sea, like a cold and headlong moon bundling down the sky that was our street; and they stop at the rim of the ice-edged fish-freezing waves, and I plunge my hands in the snow and bring out whatever I can find. In goes my hand into that wool-white bell-tongued ball of holidays resting at the rim of the carol-singing sea, and out come Mrs. Prothero and the firemen.
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  • Anna Van Der Sluis (12/3/2013 1:34:00 PM)

    Melancholia at its best............. For the comments prose or poetry : Why care? Do we really discussing such a trivial thing? (Report) Reply

  • Jimmy Pierce (12/16/2009 9:46:00 PM)

    If this is not poetry, I don't know what is - such beauty, such imagery... much of what I hear on Keillor's Writer's Almanac has long since left behind the strict rules of iambic pentameter, cadence and rhyme, and is simply beauty in words. This is surely that, in spades. (Report) Reply

  • Terry Browne (11/26/2009 7:35:00 AM)

    Since the film was broadcast in South Africa by m-net in the late 80's, this has been a firm favourite of my wife and I every year. Unfortunately I don't have Dylan's recording, which I would love to hear, but the late Denholm Elliot's reading in the film is brilliant, his accent is just right for a non-Walean such as myself! A film and poem to be thoroughly recommended. Would make a delightful play for a suitable school young age group, in my opinion. (Report) Reply

  • Kevin Straw (5/6/2009 7:13:00 AM)

    This is not an essay or a poem, it is a short story and should not be on this site. (Report) Reply

  • Ben Dover (3/28/2008 7:52:00 PM)

    what an amazing poem
    i also share a passion for mars bars just as this poem states (Report) Reply

  • Richard Adams (1/6/2008 11:09:00 PM)

    I bought a copy of this poem in 1959 and have had it in my library since as a cherished treasure. Thomas is in that great Welsh tradition of musical poetry. The recording of him reading it has been a favorite for years, even though his diction is either somewhat affected or markedly provincial.Like so many poets of his generation, he kind of chants the poem. Thomas' eye and ear for what fascinates and attracts a child about winter and Christmas at home, and his language are unerringly accurate. My children also adore the work, and often ask me to read it to them as part of our observation of the season and day, a duty I shamelessly relish. It's always been heartbreaking to know of his early demise and destructive relationship with alcohol, a real moth-flame affair. Too sad. This work of his figures in my every celebration of Christmas, in one way or another, and likely will always do so. (Report) Reply

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