Thursday, October 04, 2007

Dressed to Die



Inspired by Quinkie’s Elegantly Dressed Wednesday post on Peter O’Toole, I present Dylan Thomas. You all know the Pants elastic is wearing a little thin at the moment - I won’t lie. I was desperate for a steer this week so I trawled around the other EDW dedicatees, hoping to awaken either my creativity or, as a last resort, some distant memory.

Of course EDW founder and mentor Quinkie is my first port of call and he didn’t disappoint. One look at P O’T and all I can ever think about is what a wonderful sport he was to self-parody the vibrant blue-eyedness that made him a star in Lawrence of Arabia in the mesmerising 1972 Film of Thomas’s Under Milk Wood. Playing the blind Captain Tom Cat, he was the little star that could steal the whole show from all those Hollywood taffs with drink issues.

A couple of years ago I holidayed in Laugharne for a week with my cousins and we stayed in cabins right next to The Boathouse, a beautiful residence overlooking Afon Taf, gifted to the family by Thomas’s patron Margaret Taylor (wife of AJP Taylor). I don't often write in rhyme, so this poem about that experience should be treated as rare.


Laugharne

"Croeso", you say and wish me well,
and invite a beer in Brown's Hotel.
Where Thomas once sustained the regale
now rebound the sounds of Emmerdale.

I wander The Boathouse where our man dwelt.
and snatch for a fragment of what he felt.
His voice carouses a whisky man's song.
and requests the laddies to grunt along.

Afon Taf recedes to meet the sun above,
as a flame-haired lady reads from The Map of Love.
A glass of wine, a summer night and strangers ten a penny -
how comforting the loneliness of the company of many.

Laugharne you've waited fifty years
for a suitable hanky to wipe your tears.
There in St Martin's, field of the dead
are Dylan and Caitlin and some of their friends.

The poets, the painters, the great and the good
and some of the people from Under Milk Wood.
Half Brigadoon, half Canterbury Tales,
you are the strangest place in Wales.

22 comments:

R.H. said...

Hey! What a rollicking ballad, I was bouncing in my seat!

R.H. said...

Do you know that church in the Strand? I signed their book.

That's so pants said...

Hi RH

Well thank you.

St Clement Danes? An 11th century church destroyed in the great fire of London and rebuilt by Christopher Wren - like there was another fate for a medieval London church. It was thumped again in WW2 and rebuilt to honour the dead of that war.

xxx

Pants

R.H. said...

And is that where I saw RAF pilots in stained glass? I don't think so, maybe Westminster, or somewhere else?

That's so pants said...

Hi RH

It is indeed where you saw the stained glass windows of RAF pilots as it's dedicated as an RAF memorial church.

xxx

Pants

R.H. said...

Thanks, I think about my travels, and a lot of it's vague, but that's one of the highlights.

Andrew said...

I'm not too keen on poetry, but I like that Pants. It creates a wonderful mental picture.

That's so pants said...

Hi RH

No problem - a little knowledge and a google search goes a long way. I knew the church you meant but couldn't think of the name either!

Hi Andrew

Thanks. It's a few years old but it reads better than I'd remembered it.

xxx

Pants

R.H. said...

Jokes aside, the poem is good, I like the pace.

That's so pants said...

Cheers mate

xxx

Pants

Ms Baroque said...

Ms P, you've done it again. Call that elegant though??

:)

Anyway, very entertaining. I had lunch recently in New York at the very next table from the one where he drank himself to death. A sobering, in so many ways, experience.

That's so pants said...

Hi Ms B

I was a day early for National Poetry Day which makes a welcome change from being late for everything. Brown's Hotel was a weird experience. It was like a London pub circa 1982 or perhaps just one in Leyton at any time.

xxx

Pants

Reading the Signs said...

Apparently my aunt had a big crush on D.T. She became a kind of groupie for a while, I think. He didn't mind. She was a good cook and obliging (to people she admired). I wonder if this counts as name-dropping.

That's so pants said...

Wow Signs

I'm impressed. I didn't realise he actually ate FOOD!

xxx

Pants

Ann O'Dyne said...

1. OMG - has readingthesigns blogged about her incredible Aunt?

2. "Oranges and lemons
the bells of St.Clements ..."

3. Since I saw What's New Pussycat? every night for a week when it opened here in 1965, I have adored Peter O'Toole.
it breaks my heart that I could not witness his 'Jeffrey Bernard Is Unwell' performance, and I would have paid good money to hear him argue with Sian Phillips, or tie one on with Richard Burtion.

I'm off to Scorn And Noise .....

That's so pants said...

Hi Annie

1. Not as far as I know but I think it should be encouraged.


3. Great play and great performance by P O'T. The set was extraordinary. LF, Mr T and I had a drink in the Coach and Horses (where the play is set)last week. Norman (the rudest landlord in London) retired last year so it doesn't have quite the same edge now. You can get 'JB is Unwell' on DVD if you're interested.

xxx

Pants

Reading the Signs said...

Hi Anne O'Dyne - I should, shouldn't I? Because he wasn't the only one. Having crushes on famous artisticos was kind of her Metier. I could name names, by golly. But I feel the ghost of her, gawd bless her, breathing over my shoulder.

That's so pants said...

SIGNS!

What ARE you like? You HAVE to do this - at some stage, obviously. I know we've all got projects lined up to the far horizons. But this is a must do, surely.

xxx

Pants

R.H. said...

I have no crush on any celebrities, but am flattened by women I see in the streets around here and in places like supermarkets. You women should wake up, the average one of you is far better looking than anything you admire.

Reading the Signs said...

Hi Pants - you think so? And when people google those famous names (some of them still being alive and tickety-boo) I can picture the fall-out. But you're right - publish and be damned. I probably am already anyway, may as well be hung for a sheep etc.

That's so pants said...

To RH - by express telegram

Am very concerned that you are being flattened STOP and by women STOP Be assured Pants is now awake STOP It tends to happen after Pants has been asleep STOP Be further assured that Pants has no admiration for anything other than Pants STOP

xxx

Pants

Hi Signs

Well, you could thinly veil them in 'faction'.

xxx

Pants

R.H. said...

I'm just glad there are no telegrams anymore STOP
One I got said your services no longer required STOP

Robert.