We are now in Swansea, home of Wales poet Dylan Thomas. He called this city an “ugly lovely town,” and that was before it suffered a great deal of German bombing during the war. The modern bits speak to a lack of city planning, but some interesting nooks and crannies still remain.
It was complete news to us that we have Jimmy Carter to thank for the ongoing focus on Dylan Thomas, and the acknowledgements of his presence here in Swansea. Evidently President Carter’s intervention during his 1977 UK trip calling for Dylan Thomas to be recognized at Poets’ Corner in Westminster Abbey resulted in a memorial plaque, and a flurry of activity in Swansea around his life here. Jimmy was a major fan and Swansea was evidently somewhat embarrassed that they didn’t have much to show him. He lent his support to the renewed focus on this famous son, and came back to dedicate the official center.
Good for you, Jimmy. Makes you think about the butterfly effect of the works of a poet in Wales reaching a young boy in Plains, Georgia.
Dylan Thomas’s life is a sad one, of course, as it ended when he was 39 and had much to do with alcohol. But his poetry and other works live on and still impress with their power. “Love the words!” he told the first cast of Under Milk Wood, and his words remain as his legacy.
We had hoped to see his childhood home, 5 Cwmdonkind Drive in the Uplands neighborhood, but arrived to find it occupied by a private party. Great view from there. Wish we could have seen it, but tomorrow we will see his last home in Wales, the Boat House at Laugharne.