Archive for November, 2013



This chiasmus comes from here.

Dylan Thomas’ poem “Author’s Prologue” was written as a chiasmus.  Every line of the poem is involved.  The key is the last word in each line.  The match is produced by rhyme.  I’ve sporadically numbered the lines so the matches can be easier seen.

Wikipedia’s entry on Dylan Thomas can be found here.

Youtube has an audio of Dylan Thomas reading ‘Author’s Prologue’ here.



Author’s Prologue


1    This day winding down now
 At God speeded summer’s end
  In the torrent salmon sun,
   In my seashaken house
    On a breakneck of rocks
     6    Tangled with chirrup and fruit,
      Froth, flute, fin, and quill
       At a wood’s dancing hoof,
        By scummed, starfish sands
         With their fishwife cross
          11    Gulls, pipers, cockles, and snails,
           Out there, crow black, men
            Tackled with clouds, who kneel
             To the sunset nets,
              Geese nearly in heaven, boys
               16      Stabbing, and herons, and shells
                That speak seven seas,
                 Eternal waters away
                  From the cities of nine
                   Days’ night whose towers will catch
                    21      In the religious wind
                     Like stalks of tall, dry straw,
                      At poor peace I sing
                       To you strangers (though song
                        Is a burning and crested act,
                         26    The fire of birds in
                          The world’s turning wood,
                           For my swan, splay sounds),
                            Out of these seathumbed leaves     
                             That will fly and fall
                              31    Like leaves of trees and as soon
                               Crumble and undie
                                Into the dogdayed night.
                                 Seaward the salmon, sucked sun slips,
                                  And the dumb swans drub blue
                                   36    My dabbed bay’s dusk, as I hack
                                    This rumpus of shapes
                                     For you to know
                                      How I, a spining man,
                                       Glory also this star, bird
                                        41    Roared, sea born, man torn, blood blest.
                                         Hark: I trumpet the place,
                                          From fish to jumping hill! Look:
                                           I build my bellowing ark
                                            To the best of my love
                                             46    As the flood begins,
                                              Out of the fountainhead
                                               Of fear, rage read, manalive,
                                                Molten and mountainous to stream
                                                 Over the wound asleep
                                                  51    Sheep white hollow farms
                                                  51′   To Wales in my arms.
                                                 Hoo, there, in castle keep,
                                                You king singsong owls, who moonbeam
                                               The flickering runs and dive
                                              The dingle furred deer dead!
                                             46′    Huloo, on plumbed bryns,
                                            O my ruffled ring dove
                                           in the hooting, nearly dark
                                          With Welsh and reverent rook,
                                         Coo rooning the woods’ praise,
                                        41′    who moons her blue notes from her nest
                                       Down to the curlew herd!
                                      Ho, hullaballoing clan
                                     Agape, with woe
                                    In your beaks, on the gabbing capes!
                                   36′     Heigh, on horseback hill, jack
                                  Whisking hare! who
                                 Hears, there, this fox light, my flood ship’s
                                Clangour as I hew and smite
                               (A clash of anvils for my
                              31′    Hubbub and fiddle, this tune
                             On atounged puffball)
                            But animals thick as theives
                           On God’s rough tumbling grounds
                          (Hail to His beasthood!).
                         26′    Beasts who sleep good and thin,
                        Hist, in hogback woods! The haystacked
                       Hollow farms ina throng
                      Of waters cluck and cling,
                     And barnroofs cockcrow war!
                    21′    O kingdom of neighbors finned
                   Felled and quilled, flash to my patch
                  Work ark and the moonshine
                 Drinking Noah of the bay,
                With pelt, and scale, and fleece:
               16′    Only the drowned deep bells
              Of sheep and churches noise
             Poor peace as the sun sets
            And dark shoals every holy field.
           We will ride out alone then,
          11′    Under the stars of Wales,
         Cry, Multiudes of arks! Across
        The water lidded lands,
       Manned with their loves they’ll move
      Like wooden islands, hill to hill.
     6′    Huloo, my prowed dove with a flute!
    Ahoy, old, sea-legged fox,
   Tom tit and Dai mouse!
  My ark sings in the sun
 At God speeded summer’s end
1′    And the flood flowers now.


Read Full Post »

%d bloggers like this: