When All My Five and Country Senses See

By Dylan Thomas 1914–1953 Dylan Thomas
When all my five and country senses see,
The fingers will forget green thumbs and mark   
How, through the halfmoon’s vegetable eye,   
Husk of young stars and handfull zodiac,
Love in the frost is pared and wintered by,
The whispering ears will watch love drummed away   
Down breeze and shell to a discordant beach,   
And, lashed to syllables, the lynx tongue cry   
That her fond wounds are mended bitterly.   
My nostrils see her breath burn like a bush.

My one and noble heart has witnesses
In all love’s countries, that will grope awake;
And when blind sleep drops on the spying senses,   
The heart is sensual, though five eyes break.

Dylan Thomas, “When All My Five and Country Senses See” 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: Poetry (August 1938).

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This poem originally appeared in the August 1938 issue of Poetry magazine

August 1938
 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 Nature, The Body

POET’S REGION Wales

SCHOOL / PERIOD Modern

Poetic Terms Sonnet

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