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A Child's Christmas In Wales

Rating: 3.3
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.

It was on the afternoon of the Christmas Eve, and I was in Mrs. Prothero's garden, waiting for cats, with her son Jim. It was snowing. It was always snowing at Christmas. December, in my memory, is white as Lapland, though there were no reindeers. But there were cats. Patient, cold and callous, our hands wrapped in socks, we waited to snowball the cats. Sleek and long as jaguars and horrible-whiskered, spitting and snarling, they would slink and sidle over the white back-garden walls, and the lynx-eyed hunters, Jim and I, fur-capped and moccasined trappers from Hudson Bay, off Mumbles Road, would hurl our deadly snowballs at the green of their eyes. The wise cats never appeared.

We were so still, Eskimo-footed arctic marksmen in the muffling silence of the eternal snows - eternal, ever since Wednesday - that we never heard Mrs. Prothero's first cry from her igloo at the bottom of the garden. Or, if we heard it at all, it was, to us, like the far-off challenge of our enemy and prey, the neighbor's polar cat. But soon the voice grew louder.
"Fire!" cried Mrs. Prothero, and she beat the dinner-gong.

And we ran down the garden, with the snowballs in our arms, toward the house; and smoke, indeed, was pouring out of the dining-room, and the gong was bombilating, and Mrs. Prothero was announcing ruin like a town crier in Pompeii. This was better than all the cats in Wales standing on the wall in a row. We bounded into the house, laden with snowballs, and stopped at the open door of the smoke-filled room.
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COMMENTS
Harley White 25 December 2020
For me this is the best Christmas writing of all which I love every year! Bravo, Dylan Thomas!
1 0 Reply
Bill Cantrell 25 December 2020
I hate to use a comment for a poem to make a point but have no other choice...poemhunter will not let me, they have totally ruined this site with this abhorrent change, it is terrible now, worse than ever!
0 0 Reply
Denis Martindale 24 December 2020
Gospel poem: THANK GOD FOR CHRISTMAS! denismartindale--co--uk
0 0 Reply
this poem sucks and we should not be posting about it sugma.I.
1 6 Reply
mr tom 08 December 2020
you a tasteless, clueless dubass, son.
3 1 Reply
Troll_Hunter 08 March 2021
Your daddy's assholetastes like curry... YUM YUM YUM : )
0 0 Reply
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0 2 Reply
elinor 05 November 2020
So detailed and lovely and a beautiful holiday time.
2 0 Reply
Shannon 15 December 2020
What is it about
0 0 Reply
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Jane T 30 October 2020
It’s beautiful prose. It’s not a poem! !
1 0 Reply
Linda Cowles 28 June 2020
I love Thomas' vivid imagery and description, but the oral reading of this piece is too robotic with not enough passion or inflection.
6 0 Reply
Shaun Cronick 28 April 2020
Noson dda a diolch gymaint Dylan.
7 0 Reply

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