Lie Still, Sleep Becalmed

By Dylan Thomas 1914–1953 Dylan Thomas
Lie still, sleep becalmed, sufferer with the wound   
In the throat, burning and turning. All night afloat   
On the silent sea we have heard the sound
That came from the wound wrapped in the salt sheet.

Under the mile off moon we trembled listening
To the sea sound flowing like blood from the loud wound   
And when the salt sheet broke in a storm of singing   
The voices of all the drowned swam on the wind.

Open a pathway through the slow sad sail,
Throw wide to the wind the gates of the wandering boat   
For my voyage to begin to the end of my wound,   
We heard the sea sound sing, we saw the salt sheet tell.   
Lie still, sleep becalmed, hide the mouth in the throat,
Or we shall obey, and ride with you through the drowned.

Dylan Thomas, “Lie Still, Sleep Becalmed” 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, Death, Nature, Weather, Seas, Rivers, & Streams

Poetic Terms Sonnet

 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, Death, Nature, Weather, Seas, Rivers, & Streams

POET’S REGION Wales

SCHOOL / PERIOD Modern

Poetic Terms Sonnet

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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