Collected Poems, 1934 – 1952 were one of the many books published by Dylan Thomas. As the title suggests, it is a compilation of the many poems that the Welsh poet have written – most of which were in his youth. Over the course of his short career, he wrote a lot of pieces – scripts, radio narratives, prose, etc. But the first literary pieces that he did write were poems. This is why he is more known as a Welsh poet.

Let us explore more about this compilation of poems and how it came to be.

About Dylan Thomas: Collected Poems

Dylan Thomas started composing poems at a young age. He had a notebook where he wrote all of his literary pieces. It is these poems that solidified his reputation as one of the greatest living poets of the English language during that time.

But what a lot of people do not know, is that the compilation of this book came at a very sad time. Before Christmas of 1952, Dylan’s father passed away because of pneumonia. Shortly after that, in the early months of 1953, his sister Nancy succumbed to liver cancer. It was a dark time in the Thomas household – but the tragedies did not stop there. One of his loyal patrons passed away because of a drug overdose. Three of his friend died at a young age. And finally, his wife Caitlin went through an abortion.

There were so many things going on his in life at this time and it is probably difficult for him to work on Collected Poems. After all, he had to look back on the poems he wrote when he was still young. It brought back a lot of memories of his childhood – most of which reflected happier times compared to what was currently going on in his life.

In his prologue note, he wrote: “most of the poems I have written, and all, up to the present year, that I wish to preserve.” Obviously, these were the treasured poems that he wanted people to know about – as part of his legacy. He added a couple of poems before the publication of the book. Some of these, you can observe, were darker than the poems written in his youth.

It can also be noted that the tone of the pieces included in Collected Poems, 1934 – 1952 showed how much of a Welsh he really is. He can be quite emotional but cynical too. It showed how he progressed in talent as a poet. However, it also displayed how he started to deteriorate – thanks to the negative experiences and the lifestyle that he led.

List of poems on Dylan Thomas: Collected Poems

This compilation was initially published in 1952, but it also had several editions to include his latest works – up until his passing in 1953. It does not include a lot of the poems that came from his notebook. These were published separately in Notebook Poems. The writer also selected poems from the other publications that showcased his poetry writings.

Here are the list of poems included in the Collected Poems, 1934 – 1952.

  • I see the boys of summer
  • When once the twilight locks
  • A process in the weather of the heart
  • Before I knocked
  • The force that through the green fuse
  • My hero bares his nerves
  • Where once the waters of your face
  • If I were tickled by the rub of love
  • Our eunich dreams
  • Especially when the October wind
  • When, like a running grave
  • From love’s first fever
  • In the beginning
  • Light breaks where no sun shines
  • I fellowed sleep
  • I dreamed my genesis
  • My world is pyramid
  • All all and all
  • I, in my intricate image
  • This bread I break
  • Incarnate devil
  • Today, this insect
  • The seed at zero
  • Shall gods be said
  • Here in this spring
  • Do you not father me
  • Out of the sighs
  • Hold hard, these ancient minutes
  • Was there a time
  • Now
  • Why east wind chills
  • A grief ago
  • How soon the servant sun
  • Ears in the turrets hear
  • Foster the light
  • The hand that signed the paper
  • Should lanterns shine
  • I have longed to move away
  • Find meat on bones
  • Grief thief of time
  • And death shall have no dominion
  • Then was my neophyte
  • Altarwise by owl-light
  • Because the pleasure-bird whistles
  • I make this a warring absence
  • When all my five and country senses
  • We lying in seasand
  • It is the sinners’ dust-tongued bell
  • O make me a mask
  • The spire cranes
  • After the funeral
  • Once it was the colour of saying
  • Not from this anger
  • How shall my animal
  • The tombstone told
  • Oh no work of words
  • A saint about to fall
  • If my head hurt a hair’s foot
  • Twenty-four years
  • The conversation of prayers
  • A refusal to mourn the death, by fire, of a child in London
  • Poem in October
  • This side of truth
  • To Other than You
  • Love in the Asylum
  • Unluckily for a death
  • The hunchback in the park
  • Into her lying head
  • Papers and sticks
  • Deaths and entrances
  • A winter’s tale
  • On a wedding anniversary
  • There was a saviour
  • On the marriage of a virgin
  • In my craft or sullen art
  • Ceremony after a fire raid
  • Once below a time
  • When I woke
  • Among those killed in the dawn raid was a man aged a hundred
  • Lie still, sleep becalmed
  • Vision and Prayer
  • Ballad of the long-legged bait
  • Holy spring
  • Fern hill
  • In country sleep
  • Over Sir John’s hill
  • Poem on his birthday
  • Do not go gentle into that good night
  • Lament
  • In the white giant’s thigh
  • Elegy
  • In country heaven