Friday, 6 June 2014

Dylan Thomas - Under Milk Wood

Being away from the UK and unable to watch TV or go to the theatre, I have , of course, missed all the new versions of Dylan's most well known work, but I have heard it on the radio, seen it in the theatre twice, including Guy Masterson's brilliant one man version. Unperturbed, I re-read the play on the train last week, keeping the townscape of Laugharne firmly in my mind's eye..

What struck me (again) this time was how much fun the bad characters are having and if I had to be any of them then it is surely the lascivious women: Mrs Dai Bread Two, Polly Garter and Lily Smalls. No Mrs Ogmore-Pritchard's 'polar sheets' for me, not the unfulfilled love of Myfanwy Price. No, I'd much rather be 'gysied to kill in a silky scarlet petticoat,' thinking of my love in the morning mirror and having a good time in the hedgerows by night. In other words, being no better than I am.

This is, I suppose, what Dylan intends, that we enjoy these characters' love of life. There are plenty of men like this too - think of Captain Cat longing for Rosie Probert once more, Nogood Boyo and Mr. Waldo. As a result we laugh at the prudish and well-behaved, living lives of conformity and ultimately frustration and, well,  bugger all - at least I do.

Oh, and my re-reading gave me a poem too - all credit to Dylan - enjoy!

How I’ll wait for you

By pitch, my tanned thighs
tensed for your touch
velvet in the dark,

by star in a silk slip
crushed and rippling
on the pink breeze,

by streetlight as I
glow my lips
and nipples with gloss,

by crescent moon, dressed
only in a bracelet
a snake with its silver tail

in its silver mouth
or, in nothing at all
save a splash of scent.

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