Under Milk Wood

Under Milk Wood

Dylan Thomas

Language: English

Pages: 192

ISBN: 0811220923

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


The definitive new edition of Thomas’s famous radio play

Under Milk Wood is the masterpiece “radio play for voices” Dylan Thomas finished just before his death in 1953. First commissioned by the BBC and broadcast in 1954, it has been performed and celebrated by Anthony Hopkins, Richard Burton, Elton John, Tom Jones, Catherine Zeta Jones, Elizabeth Taylor, Peter O’Toole, and many others. In Under Milk Wood, Thomas gave fullest expression to his sense of the magnificent flavor and variety of life. A moving and hilarious account of a spring day in a small Welsh town, the play begins with dreams and ghosts before dawn and closes “as the rain of dusk brings on the bawdy night.”

This new edition contains the definitive version of the play, edited by the noted Dylan Thomas scholars Walford Davies and Ralph Maud, with an in-depth introduction by Davies as well as extensive and helpful textual and explanatory notes. 

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himself has created; the superficies is the world. Jonson's characters conform to the logic of the emotions of their world. They are not fancy, because they have a logic of their own; and this logic illuminates the actual world, because it gives us a new point of view from which to inspect it.24 The moment the first stage-reading proved Under Milk Wood a popular success, Thomas started talking of writing another 'play for voices'. But this would be a 'proper-er play' (Collected Letters, 893). An

Ach, the mean old clouds! The morning is all singing. The Reverend Eli Jenkins, busy on his morning calls, stops outside the Welfare Hall to hear Polly Garter as she scrubs the floors for the Mothers’ Union Dance to-night. POLLY GARTER [Singing] I loved a man whose name was Tom He was strong as a bear and two yards long I loved a man whose name was Dick He was big as a barrel and three feet thick And I loved a man whose name was Harry Six feet tall and sweet as a cherry But the one I loved

out to be the last two weeks of his life. Elizabeth Reitell deposited the 'TS' at Yale in May 1961 along with a copy of her letter to Daniel Jones of 1 June 1954, which had accompanied a copy of 'TS' that she sent to him at that time, amply authenticating it. In this letter she explains that, though some of the markings on the pages are hers and Ruthven Todd's, 'nothing was done, however, without Dylan's knowledge, consent and direct personal supervision.' The reason why the present editors have

continue to live as long as we can, alone, a community of individual people. If any further parts of this scheme were actually written, they do not seem to have survived. Some friends (Vernon Watkins, for example) seemed to remember Thomas 'quoting' such parts, but these were probably memories of Thomas vividly paraphrasing or improvising potential ideas. Douglas Cleverdon, eagerly waiting for the long-protracted work to arrive in any final form at all, recalls Thomas's relief when he suggested,

heads. In such language, mention of the village's 'neglected graveyard', tucked in as it is with the point about the chapel's nondescript architecture, expresses merely antiquarian regret. One thing Under Milk Wood itself does not neglect is its graveyard. Before turning to 'Return Journey' (1947), which is the next in the chronology of radio features that anticipate Under Milk Wood, we should not forget smaller scripts such as 'How to Begin a Story', 'Holiday' Memory' and 'The Crumbs of One

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