How to be a Poet by Dylan Thomas

Commissioned by Chapter Arts Centre for Laugharne Castle Poetry and Film Festival. As part of the Dylan Thomas 100 celebrations, The Welsh Government are partnering with Chapter Arts Centre on a unique weekend of film screenings, poetry readings and stop-animation workshops set in the beautiful castle grounds: How to be a Poet is an article written by Dylan Thomas and published in Circus (London, 1950) and the text is used with permission from David Higham Associates on behalf of the Dylan Thomas Estate.

“Dylan often wrote mischievous – mostly light – stuff to amuse friends. There is a well-known limerick, for example, which starts ‘There was a young saviour called God.PS He wrote, of course, some of the best (domestic) poems about the Second World War, in particular the Blitz of London and our hometown, Swansea. I think the one you are discussing is probably a mischievous parody on some of the War poems by the Thirties poets, Auden, Spender, MacNeice, and Day-Lewis. Dylan post-Second World War, because of the War, the Holocaust, and the use of the H-bomb, feared for the future of mankind. He planned a work with Stravinsky, but died before doing it, about the Earth after an apocalyptic war (only a young man and young woman would survive – the new Adam and Eve). So on a serious note. The mischievous poem is also connected to a deep fear for mankind in Dylan.” {Peter Thabit Jones}

We’re sitting pretty in the appalling city. I know where we’re going I don’t know where from but take it from me, boy, you are my cup of tea, boy, we’re sitting on a big black bomb.

Taking place within the ‘timeless, beautiful’ setting of Laugharne, the Laugharne Castle Poetry and Film Festival unfolded over the long weekend of Friday 6 June – Sunday 8 June 2014