Dylan Thomas

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

The Force That Through The Green Fuse Drives The Flower

Poem by Dylan Thomas

The force that through the green fuse drives the flower
Drives my green age; that blasts the roots of trees
Is my destroyer.
And I am dumb to tell the crooked rose
My youth is bent by the same wintry fever.

The force that drives the water through the rocks
Drives my red blood; that dries the mouthing streams
Turns mine to wax.
And I am dumb to mouth unto my veins
How at the mountain spring the same mouth sucks.

The hand that whirls the water in the pool
Stirs the quicksand; that ropes the blowing wind
Hauls my shroud sail.
And I am dumb to tell the hanging man
How of my clay is made the hangman's lime.

The lips of time leech to the fountain head;
Love drips and gathers, but the fallen blood
Shall calm her sores.
And I am dumb to tell a weather's wind
How time has ticked a heaven round the stars.

And I am dumb to tell the lover's tomb
How at my sheet goes the same crooked worm.


Comments about The Force That Through The Green Fuse Drives The Flower by Dylan Thomas

  • Dominic Windram (9/10/2019 5:21:00 AM)

    A powerful, profoundly poignant poem that deals with the paradoxical forces of creativity and destruction inherent in nature and the human condition.(Report)Reply

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  • Don KubickiDon Kubicki (7/7/2019 4:39:00 PM)

    Time and the force of Nature is the hand. Thomas expresses the foreknowledge that he as a man is " dumb" to tell how death winds like a sheet (shroud) around his life.(Report)Reply

    0 person liked.
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  • Faizaan (7/3/2018 7:20:00 PM)

    Real men in the world(Report)Reply

    2 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • Tapan M. SarenTapan M. Saren (7/16/2017 2:56:00 AM)

    I think 'the force' here is 'time'

    it's one of the finest poems in the English Literature.(Report)Reply

    3 person liked.
    2 person did not like.
  • Greg BellGreg Bell (2/27/2017 6:28:00 PM)

    What a magnificent poem, full of dark paradox. Each stanza has at least one apparent paradox, usually more:

    The hand that whirls the water in the pool
    Stirs the quicksand; that ropes the blowing wind
    Hauls my shroud sail.

    Whose hand? ! A human hand can whirl the water in the pool, but who can stir the quicksand? (Takes a bigger than human hand, I think, that turns to the root of being, to the Deity. That ropes the blowing wind, again, invoking the prime mover, though, for contrast/comparison a human hand can haul his shroud sail. (Again, though, on a metaphorical level, that invokes The Great Hand.)

    The opening is unforgettable, but here's another stanza that could destroy the mind of a literalist:

    The lips of time leech to the fountain head;
    Love drips and gathers, but the fallen blood
    Shall calm her sores.
    And I am dumb to tell a weather's wind
    How time has ticked a heaven round the stars.

    Wildly musical, this poem goes way beyond music to invoke meaning in sounds. Intellectually ambitious, it can tie your head in knots if you take it literally This poem goes way beyond religion to a profound sense of unity with all creation. And, yes, with death, or rather, beyond death.(Report)Reply

    Devin(1/29/2018 8:44:00 AM)

    your the coolest edy yet

    6 person liked.
    2 person did not like.
  • Brian JaniBrian Jani (4/26/2014 2:25:00 AM)

    Awesome I like this poem, check mine out(Report)Reply

    Devion(1/29/2018 8:45:00 AM)

    thanks it really helped me

    2 person liked.
    2 person did not like.
  • Will Vogel (2/2/2012 12:56:00 PM)

    yo i aint get nuttin from dis ish(Report)Reply

    2 person liked.
    13 person did not like.
  • Sylva PortoianSylva Portoian (2/28/2010 11:36:00 PM)

    'The root of my trees is my destroyer',
    Oh what a stanza to analyze genetically
    He blames his bad genes destroying me,
    As, he enjoyed drinking heavily.(Report)Reply

    6 person liked.
    6 person did not like.
  • Sylva PortoianSylva Portoian (2/28/2010 11:36:00 PM)

    'The root of my trees is my destroyer',
    Oh what a stanza to analyze genetically
    He blames his bad genes destroying me,
    As, he enjoyed drinking heavily.(Report)Reply

    1 person liked.
    8 person did not like.
  • Thomas Egnoto (12/27/2008 7:59:00 AM)

    It's about time, and how its grip is inescapable. Very depressing.(Report)Reply

    1 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • Derek Baron (8/28/2007 11:48:00 AM)

    I disagree Barry: You're half-right. The One-Ness of all things, but man isn't impotent to witness it. He IS it. He's impotent to COMMUNICATE it. He's witnessing it so strongly though that its nearly blinding. True: one of the greatest poems at least of the 20th century. Thomas is right up there with Pound and Eliot in my eyes.(Report)Reply

    Greg BellGreg Bell(2/27/2017 6:36:00 PM)

    Yes, Derek, nearly blinding! And better, methinks, than Eliot & Pound, who are more cerebral but don't communicate nearly so deep a level of feeling.

    Greg BellGreg Bell(2/27/2017 6:33:00 PM)

    Yes, Derek, nearly blinding. Better, though, than Eliot & Pound, who are (for me) more cerebral but communicate less on an emotional level.

    5 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • Barry Cohan (7/26/2007 11:03:00 PM)

    I think that it's about a kind of condundrum: the one-ness of all things, and man as impotent witness to it all. This might be-as foolish as it sounds to say- the finest poem ever written in the English language.(Report)Reply

    Greg Bell(1/30/2018 3:48:00 PM)

    Right up there, Barry!

    2 person liked.
    2 person did not like.
  • Akonam Aladi (9/23/2006 5:29:00 PM)

    what is this poem about?(Report)Reply

    1 person liked.
    1 person did not like.
Read all 18 comments »




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Read poems about / on: weather, green, water, wind, flower, spring, rose, red, heaven, time, tree, star



Poem Submitted: Friday, January 3, 2003



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