Dylan Thomas' debts

Oscillating between the Welsh bard and the international modernist poet, the perception of Dylan Thomas, and to which literary sphere he belongs, seems to be in constant flux. Saunders Lewis saw Thomas in no uncertain terms; he was born in Wales, but was “of the English”[1], and much the poorer because of it. It seems certain he had Thomas in mind when he declared;

"If the Anglo-Welsh by writing in English have wider fame, more worldly honours, more social success, and more money, the writers in Welsh have the prestige of a national literature, and still some sense of assurance that comes from belonging to a great tradition."[2]

Lewis disenfranchises Thomas from "the prestige of a national literature", on the grounds of possessing only an "incidental or accidental or justsocial"[3] interest in Wales. Surely having a social interest in Wales is essential to the criteria of a ‘Welsh Writer’ in either language. Yet Lewis doesn’t simply deny Thomas a Welsh national literature but “a national literature”. Taken literally, Lewis suggests Dylan Thomas belongs neither to ‘Welsh literature’ nor to the more widely encompassing ‘English Literature’, but is damned to occupy an obscure hinterland, a literary limbo, at home in neither.

Confusingly, having argued that Thomas does not belong to “a great tradition”, Lewis backtracks, stating that Thomas’ work does “belongs to the English tradition” in that it echoes “Ezra Pound and Gertrude Stein, and perhaps the Frenchman, André Breton”[4]: two American Europhiles, and a Frenchman. Saunders Lewis, it seems, is as uncertain as the rest of us as to where Dylan Thomas truly belongs.

Throughout this essay I shall look at Dylan Thomas’ poetic influences, beginning by drawing parallels between Thomas’ work and the works of writers less contentiously labelled ‘Welsh Writers in English’. I shall go on to concede that European as well as American influences are also present in Thomas’ work, and that his work flourishes as a consequence. The term ‘influence’, however, is ambiguous; I do not aim to merely prove Thomas read a certain other poet or works (this is of interest purely in a biographical sense). Nor do I aim to suggest that he is in someway consciously responding to his predecessors. By ‘influence’ I refer specifically to similarities in trope, form and style; simply, I seek to explore Dylan Thomas’ literary inheritance.

To begin close to home, Dylan Thomas certainly engaged with Welsh writers who wrote in English, and mentioned them in numerous letters to Vernon Watkins. Idris Davies’ great socialist works The Angry Summer: A poem of 1926 tells the tragic tale of the miners’ strike of that same year, yet it contains telling similarities with Thomas’ work, most notably, Under Milk Wood.

Completed in 1943 and 1953 respectively, the most obvious similarity between The Angry Summer and Under Milk Wood is that both are lyrical pieces concerning the lives and relationships of close-knit Welsh communities. A host of characters (and perhaps caricatures), from shopkeepers and drunks to lovers and clergymen scatter the texts adding distinct Welsh tones and colours.

The Angry Summer focuses on the miners’ struggle, yet Idris Davies also introduces us to the wider society surrounding the pits. ‘Industry’ is central to the poem, and Davies presents us with it as a whole, beginning with Dai at the coal-face, and working outward. The effects of the strike are felt throughout the entire hierarchy of the mining industry; Dan the Grocer, the white collared worker, will also suffer due to the altered economic dynamics of the society as a whole. Even those employed by the banks are represented, albeit as traitors. Idris Davies doesn't merely paint a picture of brave protesters; he provides us with the stark financial and economic realities of the strike - for if it is to last, many people will suffer. Those seemingly outside industry are also represented, from the wives to the clergy; every aspect of the community is present. Similarly, in Under Milk Wood, an entire village speaks. We see ever inhabitant in the village;

           […] the farmers, the

fishers, the tradesmen and pensioners, cobbler,

school-teacher, postman and publican, the undertaker

and the fancy woman, drunkard, dressmaker,

preacher, policeman, the webfoot cocklewomen and

the tidy wives.[5]

Yet merely presenting the inhabitants of a small town is not enough to suggest any kind of dialogue between these texts. If this were the only relation between them, then a comparison of either text with Flaubert’s Madame Bovary would be equally appropriate.Petit bourgeois Homais could quite easily be transported to the mining valley in the place of Dan the Grocer, just as Lilly Smalls’ “dream of royalty”[6] and of fantasy life remind us of Emma Bovary’s own desires. Something further relates The Angry Summer and Under Milk Wood than setting alone, and unites them in literary conversation.

In the opening sections of both pieces the listener is invited to quietly observe the townspeople, deep in slumber. In Under Milk Wood the audience is privileged with a kind of omnipresence, seeing all, even behind sleeping eyes;

“Only you can hear and see behind the eyes of the sleepers, the movements and countries and mazes and colours and dismays and rainbows and tunes and wishes and flight and fall and despairs and big seas of their dreams.”[7]

We are not able to see the dreams in Rhymney, but we share in them also; “in their dreams your dreams were born / Out of their night shall break your morn.”[8] Immediately we are drawn in to the plight of the mining community and encouraged to empathise with them. But we are not hushed in Rhymney as we are in Llareggub. We cannot disturb the sleepers: they sleep an eternal sleep.

“Tonight the moon is bright and round

Above the little burial ground

Where father of Dai and father of John

After the sweat and blood sleep on.”[9]

Despite this seemingly darksome image, Davies’ opening is not morbid. A historical continuity is being affirmed; fathers worked the coalfields with “sweat and blood”[10] and a relationship with the land is established, and continues through the present generation. Yet despite this awareness of historical continuity, the poem is not backward looking; we are centred very much in the ‘now’ (or the ‘now’ of 1926 at least). 

Formally, there are many similarities between both texts. Under Milk Wood undeniably possesses a lyrical quality, yet enough has been said of its poetic aspects to render any further comments by myself as superfluous. More interesting is the consideration of the poetic and dramatic features in the play when superimposed upon a reading of The Angry Summer. Daniel Jones’ second preface to Thomas’ radio-play rehearses the long-made point; “Under Milk Wood is not simply a play; it is a play for Voices.”[11] Equally The Angry Summer is not simply a poem, but a poem for Voices.

Jones’ further comments seem apt for either piece; “The medium is intermediate between a play and a poem, allowing and calling for characteristics shared by both.” He goes on to state that, “embedded in the broadest passages, the roughest prose, the listener or the reader-listener will find some fine poetry”. Equally, embedded within the poetic verse of The Angry Summer lies great dramatic achievement.

Anthony Conran also points to the ‘Dramatic’ element present in The Angry Summer and recognises that “it shares with Dylan Thomas’ work an ambiguous position between play and poem so that the term ‘play for voices’ is probably not inappropriate for both.”[12] Conran even went as far as to produce a ‘dramatic’ reading of the poem, with cast.

Conran argues that The Angry Summer “felt more of a drama than Under Milk Wood”, considering it to possess a greater “sense of inter-personal conflict and resolution as well as considerably more social insight"[13]. Yet he doesn’t support this argument, leaving the impression that perhaps, rather than aiming to be disparaging of Thomas’ work, Conran is simply seeking to excite debate, and bring extra (long due) attention to this little studied segment of Welsh writing in English.

Little vignettes of social insights scatter both works. Emlyn, Nipper Evans and Danny bach Dwl “scratch and babble”[14] in the “little Italian shop”[15] just as readily as the shop-women in Llareggub. The men speak of politics, certain of how to “put things right” while the women speak of the morning gossip, yet all are as frivolous as “coloured gassy pop.” In both we get a sense of a community speaking – even if many speak only nonsense.

Admittedly, the height of conflict in the sleepy seaside town of Llareggub is Mr and Mrs Pugh’s tea time squabbling, whilst Mr Pugh privately studies Lives of the Great Poisoners. Yet Under Milk Wood is certainly “inter-personal”: between Dai bread and his two wives, Mrs Ogmore-Pritchard and her two husbands, and Polly Garter’s lost loves, things are as “inter-personal” as one can imagine. Undeniably, the characters in Thomas’ play are hyperbolic in the extreme, yet this doesn’t necessarily weaken its appeal, or indeed its sincerity. Caricatures abound, yet we as listeners, or reader-listeners, can wholly relate to them. Neither piece is lacking “inter-personal conflict and resolution” or “social insight”, as Tony Conran seems to suggest, yet undeniably there is a higher tension in Rhymney. The reason for this is simple; the Valleys are in crisis, Llarregub is in a coma.

Devoid of the ‘lyrical I’ and replaced by a collapsed narrative of overlapping voices, The Angry Summer, is a rare example of Modernism in microcosm; in the poem, social dislocation and fragmentation are born from Industry, but uncharacteristically for a modernist text, it does not envisage a dystopia of individual isolation but a social resurgence, fused stronger in the crisis. Rather than being a ‘Welsh Waste Land’ it is a vision of hope born out of the negative aspects of Capitalism that both created and tortured the industrial mining towns of South Wales. Throughout the poem, Idris Davies presents “beauty born of sacrifice”[16].

Llareggub, on the other hand, exists in a vacuum; with its fishing boats, its local shops and absence of motor vehicles, it is untouched by modernity. Whether Thomas had read The Angry Summer or not is irrelevant; the two pieces share a dynamism, charged with energy and complementing each other.

Yet perhaps this ‘shared dialogue’ with Idris Davies is insufficient: perhaps Davies also occupies the hinterland of not-Welsh not-English Literature that Saunders Lewis suggests. In which case, Dylan Thomas’ poetic ancestry must be searched for elsewhere. Self-labelled the ‘Rimbaud of Cwmdonkin Drive’, perhaps a glance at Europe will prove illuminating in the search for Dylan Thomas’ literary tradition.

One notably European mode seemingly influential in Dylan Thomas’ work is that of Surrealism. Chris Wigginton in particular connects him with the school, considering Thomas’ poems to possess a “calculated appeal […] to a sense of the surrealist absurd”[17]. The briefest of looks through Thomas’ early works seemingly justifies Wigginton’s suggestion: alien objects and unexplained, even inexplicable images appear to litter Thomas’ works in much the same way they occupy the Surrealist works. Similarly, unexpected juxtapositions as well as elements of surprise feature heavily in both. Think even of the transferred epithets that so characterise Dylan Thomas’ works; the farmer with the “red-eyed orchards” in “Foster the light” or the “dogs in the wetnosed yards”[18] in Llareggub could easily be seen as surrealist images due to the absurdity of their literal, syntactical meanings.

“Light breaks where no sun shines” certainly contains Surrealist elements: disjointed sexual and Freudian imagery abound in this liminal landscape. Obscure and confusing, the poem seems at first a tour de force of Surrealist verse. The poem consistently confounds our expectations with images like “Bright as a fig”: the matt, rough surface of a fig hardly suggests brightness. The poem is evoking an anti-reality where senses are confused and inverted; even “thoughts smell in the rain”. It seems quite reasonable to accept that “logics dies” in the lines. Yet there is meaning to the verse, but part of that meaning comes from the seemingly illogical elements of it: life is illogical, merely sex, light and death.

However, Surrealist elements and influences in Thomas’ work do not necessarily make him a Surrealist poet: he adopts elements of Surrealism to suit his purpose, but does not subscribe to surrealism itself. While the space occupied in “Light breaks where no sun shines” is a wasteland of nothingness, a subconscious arena devoid of logic, the poem itself is logical. It is a poem about the loss of virginity, and the resulting maturity. The Surrealist elements are present not because Dylan Thomas is a surrealist himself, but because they enhance his poems meaning.

Chris Wigginton supports this argument, but takes it further, stating; “Thomas […] guys and mimics the attributes of a metropolitan style where it can be made to coincide with his own tactics of estrangement, but stops short of becoming a surrealist pur sang - as, for example, David Gascoyne did. In both embracing and rejecting surrealism he created a provincial simulacrum of surrealism, or what might be called (for want of a better word) surregionalism.”[19]

Wigginton seems to be arguing two incompatible things here: firstly, that Thomas develops surrealist techniques not out of an attachment with the European Avant-garde but for his own purposes, and secondly, that it results in a “simulacrum of”, or an ‘unsatisfactory substitute for’, surrealism. How can Dylan Thomas simultaneously develop from the Surrealists and fall short of them?

Rather, the abstract and juxtaposing imagery in the poem are due more to the influence of Metaphysical poets than the Surrealists, as is the concept of the nature represented in the body, in microcosm. Wigginton points to these earlier poets himself, suggesting them to be “distant cousins” with the European artists and that “surrealism had affinities with the Metaphysicals’ violent yoking together of heterogeneous images”[20]. But again, such a statement seems inconsistent; the Surrealists use disconnected imagery, while the Metaphysical Poets employ a matrix of interconnected conceits. This is not to deny that there are links between the Metaphysicals and the Surrealists, but the argument goes off the point a little as far as Thomas is concerned. An abandonment of logic in the Surrealists and the ultra-complex logic of the seventeenth century poets are wholly antithetical to one another; at this crossroad Thomas follows the British poets, not the French ones.

John Donne’s “The Good Morrow” even suggests itself as a source of inspiration for Thomas’ poem. In both, the analogy is of a world in the darkness of innocence, broken by the light of experience after the loss of virginity. Donne cannot remember life before the couple were lovers, but suspects they were infantile, “not wean’d”[21] until copulation, or even in a lower state of consciousness, sleeping in the “Seven Sleepers’ den”. Only after sex, comes dawn. Similarly in Thomas, “no sun shines” until “light breaks” and virginity is lost.

Intercourse changes the world in both; in Donne, their union makes a world “Without sharp north, without declining west” where “none can die”. In Thomas, sex ensnares them into death. They have eaten the fruit of the tree of carnal knowledge, and mortality is the consequence. Like Marvelle, Thomas employs the image of the worm to encapsulate this concept, fusing the phallic with the deathly.

The influence of European Surrealism upon Dylan Thomas, therefore, can seem over-laboured. Rather, Thomas can be seen as writing more within the English Canonical Tradition than with his European cousins.

Finally our search for Dylan Thomas’ literary inheritance leads us to America, to the figure of Walt Whitman. Dylan’s poetical debt to Whitman has been written about extensively. Such discussions almost always include the seemingly obligatory reference to the image of Whitman hanging in the work-shed in Laugharne, suggesting as it does a direct recognition of influence from the Welshman to the American.

“And Death Shall Have No Dominion” is a truly Whitmanesque poem. It begins by refuting the power of death in the first line, followed swiftly by unifying humanity in the second line. Humankind is fused with nature; “since they shall be one / with the man in the wind and the west moon”. “They shall have stars at elbow and foot”, the poem continues, again linking the internal body with external surroundings, while the switch between plural “they” to singular “elbow and foot” suggests a ‘shared’ body of human existence. Whitman’s influence is certainly felt here: his entire poetic manifesto hinges on unifying humanity. All are one to Whitman, since “every atom belonging to me as good belongs to you.”[22]

The concept of the world in microcosm in the body, and vice versa, features heavily in the works of both writers. Dylan Thomas declared; “It is my aim as an artist […] to prove beyond doubt to myself that the flesh that covers me is the flesh that covers the sun, that the blood in my lungs is the blood that goes up and down in a tree.”[23] Similarly, Whitman speaks of the “eternal systole and diastole” present in nature, and of the interrelation between humanity and the natural world. This can certainly be seen in the most corporeal of poems, “And Death Shall Have No Dominion”: “bones”, “sinews”, hands, heads, elbows and feet all appear, linked with elements of nature, including “gulls”, “flowers”, “rain”, “the wind and the west moon” to name but a few.

The setting of the poem is also a typical location for Whitman’s verse; the seashore, implying an interstitial territory between life and death, our world, our reality and another. In the first stanza of “And Death Shall Have No Dominion”, the sea represents death by drowning, while in the final stanza, the sea (and presumably death) is “no more”. Although death occurs, it is not the “finale of seem”[24] as Wallace Stevens sees it, but merely an element of the life-cycle of the universe. Whitman continuously glorifies death as paradoxically life-giving; in “Out of the cradle endlessly rocking” the sea speaks to him, whispered and “lisp’d […] the low and delicious word death, / And again death, death, death, death”[25].

Such attitudes to mortality, along with pantheistic elements fusing man, nature and the universe add to the image of both Whitman and Dylan as Bardic poets. Dylan Thomas “speaks to us as an ancient who has somehow survived the imposition of time”,[26] J. M. Brinnin claims, in much the same way that Whitman speaks “the password primeval”. Both poets explore the essence of humanity, stripped of modern pretences, and reduce humankind to our most primordial. Formally, one way in which Whitman achieves this is through parallelism: a step further from simple repetition, whereby the statement of the first line is built upon or answered in a second, similar line. The result is, in Gay Wilson Allen’s words, “a loose rhythmical chanting or rhapsodic style.”[27]

The scent of these arm-pits is aroma finer than prayer,

This head is more than churches or bibles or creed.[28]

Essential to Hebrew poetry, Biblical verse often takes such a form. Whitman uses parallelism’s psalm-like tones to elevate humanity to holiness, and (paradoxically) to make the human form divine. This effect is achieved equally impressively in “And Death Shall Have No Dominion”, adding a religious reverence and offers a different kind of salvation:

Though they go mad they shall be sane,

Though they sink through the sea they shall rise again.

Both use parallelism to a greater effect also. Parallelism’s structure is a universal one. It is simply an example of call and response, of thesis and antithesis, ying and yang, the very basic element of human thought; both poets are physically reducing their verse to their most elemental, speaking as they do for all humankind, for all times.

Thomas’ poem continues to follow Whitman’s lead, but only up to a point. In the final stanza, Dylan develops a signature image of Whitman’s: asked by a child “What is the grass?” The Whitman-persona replies “the beautiful uncut hair of graves”[29]. Thomas employs a strikingly similar image, reiterating the interconnected and cyclical nature of life and death; people “dead as nails” in their graves “hammer through daisies”, and life is again born out of death.

Yet Thomas does not truly seem to share Whitman’s confidence that death is a beginning, not an end. Death for Thomas is not a “low and delicious word”[30]. Whitman claims “there is life within me, never to die”[31], while in Thomas’ poem, while death does not have “dominion”, it still occurs. Death in Thomas’ poem, at least on an individual level, is conclusive; we are “dead as nails”. While life as a whole continues, and love itself does not die, lovers do. Life is eternal for Whitman, but with Thomas, ephemeral; “where blew a flower may a flower no more / Lift its head to the blows of the rain”.

Clearly this is a big difference between Thomas and Whitman: yet this should not negate from the suggestion that Whitman was hugely influential. One poet’s influence upon another can be made evident in the differences, equally as much as similarities, between the two.

In The Anxiety of Influence, Harold Bloom argues: “a poet swerves away from his precursor, by so reading his precursor’s poem as a clinamen in relation to it. This appears as a corrective movement in his own poem, which implies that the precursor poem went accurately up to a certain point, but then should have swerved, precisely in the direction that the new poem moves.”[32] Dylan Thomas swerves from his great precursor, Walt Whitman, on the issue of death.

Thomas can be seen to take this same swerve in “Poem in October”. Stanley Friedman notes that this poem follows the same logical development seen in “There Was a Child Went Forth”, but fails to recognise that a clinamen occurs in Thomas’ poem. Friedman suggests both poems end “with a note of affirmation and a glance towards the future”[33], yet this can hardly be the case. Surely the image of the “long dead child”, and the final glance at the town “leaved with October blood” is an image of doubt, even despair.

Although not suggesting a Bloomian ‘anxiety of influence’, Michael G. Miller also recognises that the poem “exhibits finally a fundamental swerving away from its precursor’s unqualified acceptance of mortality, and […] calls in to question the generally accepted reading of ‘Poem in October’ as celebrative and affirmative.”[34] Surely this is a more accurate reading.

J. M. Brinnin recognizes that, in Dylan Thomas’ work we hear “not only the breadth and grandeur that Whitman once evoked, but that finely wrought music of the intellectual eye and ear”[35]. Had Thomas not developed, not swerved from Whitman, he would merely have replicated and stagnated. Walt Whitman himself saw the need for future poets to diverge from him; “Leaving it to you to prove and define it, / Expecting the main things from you.” He would not be disappointed.

“No man is an island”, John Donne (aptly) tells us: not even Dylan Thomas. Hopefully, through exploring some of the numerous tributaries that contribute to Dylan Thomas’ poetics, this essay reiterates such sentiments. There is still a lot to be discussed and explored; the effect Dylan Thomas has had on other Welsh writers (in both languages) might prove worthwhile. A look at Euros Bowen’s Welsh Language poem “Dylan Thomas” brings the issue of literary traditions full circle, and would bring further insight into the concept of poetic influence. Furthermore, viewing Dylan Thomas through a post-colonialist lens could have been fruitful.

Yet if we struggle to relate Dylan Thomas to a specific tradition or group of writers, it is perhaps because of the complex diversity of the sources he drew from. J. M. Brinnin recognises that Thomas’ poems are “the work of a man immersed not only in his own native history, but [are the] product of a sophisticated craftsman sharply aware of that literary tradition which his contribution both transforms and continues." A wonderfully informed hybrid - 'Welsh Thomas', ‘English’ and 'International Thomas' are not mutually exclusive concepts. The challenge now is to operate all of these in tandem.


Works Cited

1.          Allen, Gay Wilson. The New Walt Whitman Handbook. New York: New York University Press, 1975.

2.          Bloom, Harold. The Anxiety of Influence: A Theory of Poetry. London: Oxford University Press, 1975.

3.          Brinnin, John Malcolm. Dylan Thomas in America. London: J. M. Dent & Sons, 1956.

4.          Davies, Idris. The Angry Summer. Cardiff: University of Wales Press, 1993.

5.          Donne, John. “The Good Morrow”.

6.          Friedman, Stanley. “Whitman and Laugharne: Dylan Thomas’s ‘Poem in October’”. The Anglo-Welsh Review,Vol 18, No 41, (Summer 1969), pp.81-82

7.          Lewis, Saunders. Is there an Anglo-Welsh Literature? Cardiff: University of Wales. Guild of Graduates, 1939.

8.          Miller, Michael G. “Whitman’s influence on Dylan Thomas’s ‘Poem in October’”. Walt Whitman Review, Vol 27 Number 4, (December 1981) pp.155-158

9.          Thomas, Dylan. Collected Poems 1934 – 1953. London: J.M.Dent, 1993.


10.       ------. Selected Letters of Dylan Thomas, ed. Constantine Fitzgibbon. New York: New Directions, 1965.

11.       ------. Under Milk Wood: A play for Voices. London: J. M. Dent & Sons, 1992.

12.       Whitman, Walt. Leaves of Grass. London: George G. Harrap and Co, 1920.

13.       Wigginton, Chris. “‘Birth and copulation and death’: Gothic Modernism and Surrealism in the Poetry of Dylan Thomas.” Dylan Thomas: Contemporary Critical Essays. ed. John Goodby et al. Hampshire: Palgrave Publishers Limited, 2001.

14.       Wigginton, Chris with John Goodby. “‘Shut in a Tower of Words’: Dylan Thomas’s Modernism.Locations of Literary Modernism: Region and Nation in British and American Modernist Poetry, eds. Alex Davis and Lee Jenkins, Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 2000, pp. 89-112

Further Works of Influence

Miller, James E.  et al. Start with the Sun : Studies in the Whitman Tradition. USA: University of Nebraska Press, 1963.

Hardy, Barbara. Dylan Thomas: An Original Language. Athens, Georgia: University of Georgeia Press, 2002. 

[1] (p.5) Lewis, Is there an Anglo-Welsh Literature? Cardiff: University of Wales. Guild of Graduates, 1939.

[2] (p.13) Lewis, Is there an Anglo-Welsh Literature?

[3] (p.4) Lewis, Is there an Anglo-Welsh Literature?

[4] (p.5) Lewis, Is there an Anglo-Welsh Literature?

[5] (p.1) Thomas, Under Milk Wood. London: J. M. Dent & Sons, 1992.

[6] (xi) Jones, Second Preface to Under Milk Wood.

[7] (p.3) Under Milk Wood.

[8] (p.8) Davies, The Angry Summer. Cardiff: University of Wales Press, 1993.

[9] (p.8) The Angry Summer.

[10] (p.8) The Angry Summer.

[11] (xi) Jones, Second Preface to Under Milk Wood.

[12] (vii) Conran, Preface to The Angry Summer.

[13] (vii) Conran, Preface to The Angry Summer.

[14] (p47) Under Milk Wood.

[15] (p.48) The Angry Summer.

[16] (p.3) The Angry Summer.

[17] (p.89) Wigginton, “‘Birth and copulation and death’: Gothic Modernism and Surrealism in the Poetry of Dylan Thomas.” Dylan Thomas: Contemporary Critical Essays. ed. John Goodby et al. Hampshire: Palgrave Publishers Limited, 2001.

[18] (p.2)Under Milk Wood.

[19] (p.93) Wigginton, “‘Shut in a Tower of Words’: Dylan Thomas’s Modernism.” Locations of Literary Modernism: Region and Nation in British and American Modernist Poetry, eds. Alex Davis and Lee Jenkins, Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 2000, pp. 89-112

[20] (p.89) Wigginton, “‘Birth and copulation and death’: Gothic Modernism and Surrealism in the Poetry of Dylan Thomas.”

[21] Donne, “The Good Morrow”.

[22] (p.24) Whitman, “Song of Myself”, Leaves of Grass. London: George G. Harrap and Co, 1920.

[23] (p112) Selected Letters of Dylan Thomas, ed. Constantine Fitzgibbon. New York: New Directions, 1965.

[24] Stevens, Wallace. “The Emporer of Ice-Cream”.

[25] (p.163) Whitman, “Out of the Cradle Endlessly Rocking”.

[26] (p.97) Brinnin, Dylan Thomas in America. London: J. M. Dent & Sons, 1956.

[27] (p.221) Allen, The New Walt Whitman Handbook.

[28] (p.52) “Song of Myself”

[29] (p.30) “Song of Myself”

[30] (p.163) Whitman, “Out of the Cradle Endlessly Rocking”.

[31] (p.162) Whitman, “Out of the Cradle Endlessly Rocking”.

[32] (p.14) Bloom, The Anxiety of Influence: A theory of Poetry. London: Oxford University Press, 1975.

[33] (p.81) Friedman, “Whitman and Laugharne: Dylan Thomas’s ‘Poem in October’”. The Anglo-Welsh Review, Vol 18, No 41, (Summer 1969), pp81-82

[34] (p.156) Miller, “Whitman’s influence on Dylan Thomas’s ‘Poem in October’”. Walt Whitman Review. Detroit, Michigan: Wayne State University Press. Vol 27 Number 4, (December 1981). pp.155-158

[35] (p.98) Brinnin. Dylan Thomas in America.