Monday, March 7, 2011

My Birthday

Today is my birthday. This is one of my favorite "birthday" poems. It is by Dylan Thomas:


It was my thirtieth year to heaven
Woke to my hearing from harbour and neighbour wood   
      And the mussel pooled and the heron
                  Priested shore
            The morning beckon
With water praying and call of seagull and rook
And the knock of sailing boats on the net webbed wall   
            Myself to set foot
                  That second
      In the still sleeping town and set forth.

      My birthday began with the water-
Birds and the birds of the winged trees flying my name   
      Above the farms and the white horses
                  And I rose   
            In rainy autumn
And walked abroad in a shower of all my days.
High tide and the heron dived when I took the road
            Over the border
                  And the gates
      Of the town closed as the town awoke.

      A springful of larks in a rolling
Cloud and the roadside bushes brimming with whistling   
      Blackbirds and the sun of October
            On the hill’s shoulder,
Here were fond climates and sweet singers suddenly   
Come in the morning where I wandered and listened   
            To the rain wringing
                  Wind blow cold
      In the wood faraway under me.

      Pale rain over the dwindling harbour
And over the sea wet church the size of a snail   
      With its horns through mist and the castle   
                  Brown as owls
            But all the gardens
Of spring and summer were blooming in the tall tales   
Beyond the border and under the lark full cloud.   
            There could I marvel
                  My birthday
      Away but the weather turned around.

      It turned away from the blithe country
And down the other air and the blue altered sky   
      Streamed again a wonder of summer
                  With apples
            Pears and red currants
And I saw in the turning so clearly a child’s
Forgotten mornings when he walked with his mother   
            Through the parables
                  Of sun light
      And the legends of the green chapels

      And the twice told fields of infancy
That his tears burned my cheeks and his heart moved in mine.   
      These were the woods the river and sea
                  Where a boy
            In the listening
Summertime of the dead whispered the truth of his joy   
To the trees and the stones and the fish in the tide.
            And the mystery
                  Sang alive
      Still in the water and singingbirds.

      And there could I marvel my birthday
Away but the weather turned around. And the true   
      Joy of the long dead child sang burning
                  In the sun.
            It was my thirtieth
Year to heaven stood there then in the summer noon   
Though the town below lay leaved with October blood.   
            O may my heart’s truth
                  Still be sung
      On this high hill in a year’s turning.
Photo by Bruce Barone.
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  1. Dylan Thomas is one of my favorite's. Thank you for this. And happy birthday. I hope it is a wonderful day for you, bruce.


  2. Happy birthday, Bruce! I am on molto overload, leaving tomorrow for Italy; but wanted to wish you a happy one!! i wish you can join us for Coltibuono one year soon!!! xxoo A

  3. Happy birthday, and thanks for the poem. It should be the other way around - you getting the presents :-)

  4. A wonderful gift you bring us for your birthday, Bruce. I don't remember having read this Dylan Thomas poem before (hell, I barely remember being 30) so you will understand how appreciative I am. The photo goes marvelously well, the autumnal colors and the chimes that seem to have gone silent a few instants so we can listen to the music of the poem. A very happy birthday to you.

  5. Oh Bruce, may the melody, cadence and surprise of this amazing poem marvel your birthday (continued to today, so sorry to be late) and the year, and the rest of all your years!

  6. Ageless and timeless are words and images....hope your year ahead is sublime. Happy Happy-

  7. Happy Birthday Bruce and good luck in my painting give-away at

  8. dear bruce,

    happy, happy birthday. i hope it is spent doing something wonderful. thank you for sharing such a beautiful poem with me this morning. i'm off for my morning walk and will look for a 'springful of larks.' so beautiful.


  9. And...the sun is shining! Wishing you a happy birthday, Bruce!

  10. Happy Birthday Bruce!
    Here's to your talent & good health

  11. A belated Happy Birthday Bruce, as I was not online yesterday. May you have many more

  12. I'm with Andy... I wasn't able to tackle my reader, or email, or many other things on the to-do list yesterday!

    So a belated HAPPY BIRTHDAY to you!!!

    I hope your weekend was just as delightful as it sounded! =)

  13. Bruce, just like you to be gifting us on your special day.pgt

  14. I thank each and every one of you for your kind and loving comments!!!


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