Thursday, 13 January 2011

Portrait of the artist as a young dog - Dylan Thomas

Finished 13/01/11

As an 'on and off' poet myself and having visited Laugharne once, the place where he spent so much time, it was with interest that I finally read this book. Poetry is something that I have been interested in since childhood but I generally shy away from all the snobbery and stuck up attitude that comes with it.Probably the main reason that I haven't written more poetry.

Portrait of the artist as a young dog has a photograph of Dylan tangled up in a tree on the front cover. I guess his life was pretty tangled because of his poetry and his addiction to drink. This book is an autobiography written as a collection of short stories or 'memories'.

To be honest while it isn't the best and most exciting thing I have ever read it isn't the worst either. It isn't wonderful and it isn't boring. It is a bit like drinking water. It quenches your thirst but doesn't do much else ! The stories are charming and easy to read and are packed with emotion, as I would expect from a poet. But sadly this book never really goes anywhere.

It has a certain charm and it never gets boring. However it is a bit like reading one of those stories in a women's magazine. It is something to read while you are on a bus or waiting at the Doctor's. But that's about it really.

Most of the stories are short and relatively bland. The last story entitled ' One warm saturday' kind of saves the day. In this story we are taken on a drunk fuelled escapade and we see Dylan's poetry and emotion in the raw. And I ended up feeling extremely sorry for him at the end, something I guess we can all relate to.


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