27 October: Dylan’s Birthday.

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Mrs Turnstone and I find ourselves at the water’s edge in Wales; the sum has gone down, a half moon presides over the estuary outside our window. The birds are subdued but not far away. We should mark Dylan’s Birthday! These are the last three stanza’s of his birthday ‘Poem in October.’

And down the other air and the blue altered sky
        Streamed again a wonder of summer
                With apples
             Pears and red currants
     And I saw in the turning so clearly a child's
     Forgotten mornings when he walked with his mother
             Through the parables
                Of sunlight
        And the legends of the green chapels

        And the twice told fields of infancy
     That his tears burned my cheeks and his heart moved in mine.
        These were the woods the river and the sea
                Where a boy
             In the listening
     Summertime of the dead whispered the truth of his joy
     To the trees and the stones and the fish in the tide.
             And the mystery
                Sang alive
        Still in the water and singing birds.

        And there could I marvel my birthday
     Away but the weather turned around. And the true
        Joy of the long dead child sang burning
                In the sun.
             It was my thirtieth
        Year to heaven stood there then in the summer noon
        Though the town below lay leaved with October blood.
             O may my heart's truth
                Still be sung
        On this high hill in a year's turning.

May each one of us find the child’s key to heaven that opened the gate for Dylan, that day when he whispered the truth of his joy. And may he be there, singing his joy eternally! First published on Will Turnstone.

Views of Laugharne, where Dylan walked.

I hope you can listen to Dylan reading the poem here:

2 Comments

Filed under Daily Reflections, poetry

2 responses to “27 October: Dylan’s Birthday.

  1. A real treat to hear it read from the poet himself! Thank you! Especially smitten with the lines
    “Forgotten mornings when he walked with his mother
    Through the parables
    Of sunlight
    And the legends of the green chapels

    And the twice told fields of infancy…”

    Like

  2. I am glad the BBC link worked over there! thank you for letting me know, Christina. Mind you, Dylan when readinf does not sound tremendously Welsh! His Welsh speaking parents brought him up in English. How time shave changed: our god-daughter, born in Canterbury, almost as far from Wales as you can get in England, has learned the language as she is living in Wales and bringing up her son in a Welsh-speaking village. Dylan’s roots formed his poetic gift, for which we anglophones should be grateful, but one wonders, what if he had known Welsh?

    Like

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