The Force That through the Green Fuse Drives the Flower

By Dylan Thomas 1914–1953 Dylan Thomas
The force that through the green fuse drives the flower   
Drives my green age; that blasts the roots of trees   
Is my destroyer.
And I am dumb to tell the crooked rose
My youth is bent by the same wintry fever.

The force that drives the water through the rocks   
Drives my red blood; that dries the mouthing streams   
Turns mine to wax.
And I am dumb to mouth unto my veins
How at the mountain spring the same mouth sucks.

The hand that whirls the water in the pool
Stirs the quicksand; that ropes the blowing wind   
Hauls my shroud sail.
And I am dumb to tell the hanging man
How of my clay is made the hangman’s lime.

The lips of time leech to the fountain head;   
Love drips and gathers, but the fallen blood   
Shall calm her sores.
And I am dumb to tell a weather’s wind
How time has ticked a heaven round the stars.

And I am dumb to tell the lover’s tomb
How at my sheet goes the same crooked worm.

Dylan Thomas, “The Force That through the Green Fuse Drives the Flower” from The Poems of Dylan Thomas. Used by permission of David Higham Associates, London as agents for the Trustees of the Copyrights of Dylan Thomas.

Source: The Collected Poems of Dylan Thomas (1957)

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Poet Dylan Thomas 1914–1953

POET’S REGION Wales

SCHOOL / PERIOD Modern

Subjects Living, Love, Youth, Time & Brevity, Nature, Relationships, Trees & Flowers, Death, Classic Love, Desire, Heartache & Loss

 Dylan  Thomas

Biography

The work of Dylan Thomas has occasioned much critical commentary, although critics share no consensus on how bright his star shines in the galaxy of modern poetry. In fact, it is a curious phenomenon that so many critics seem obsessed with deciding once and for all whether Thomas's poems belong side by side with those of T. S. Eliot and W. H. Auden, or whether they are—in the words of a reputable critic quoted by Henry Treece in . . .

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Living, Love, Youth, Time & Brevity, Nature, Relationships, Trees & Flowers, Death, Classic Love, Desire, Heartache & Loss

POET’S REGION Wales

SCHOOL / PERIOD Modern

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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