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Biplob Prodhan
  • 1 month ago
  • 118
Mention and discuss the religious elements in Dylan Thomas’s poems. (N.U. 2015)

Ans. A religious poet is primarily a celebrator, a celebrator in the sense of one who celebrates the creation and more particularly the human condition. Thomas is such a poet who will see himself and man in general as a metaphor or analogy of the world.

Dylan Thomas was greatly influenced by his pious mother who used to go to church regularly and read no books except the Bible. He acquired the perfect love for God. Thomas was influenced by John Donne and other metaphysical poets of the 17th century. The Poem in October is replete with religious sentiments all through the poem. The poem starts with a religious feeling. Thomas celebrates the thirtieth birthday but for him a birthday is not an occasion of joy but a grief, because he feels that every birthday is one more forward step in his march towards heaven (death). In a mystical mood he feels that everything belongs to him. The poet finds all nature holy. The herons sitting on the shore seem to him to be priests, praying for him. Even the waves of the ocean seem to rise high in order to pray to the heaven for the poet.

The vision of the birds flying over the farms and the white horses, proclaiming the poet’s name and that of the ‘wetchurch’ looking like a snail with its horns through mist are the expressions of a religious sentiment. To highlight the glorious visions of his childhood, the poet refers to the parables of sunlight and the legends of the green chapels which are also tinged with a mystic vision. The poem ends with a religious tone. To sum up, Dylan Thomas does not advocate any particular theology but the Biblical imagery and a kind of religious sentiment lends a sacred character to some of his poets.

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