Curio Cabinet | April 28, 2014

Around age six or seven, Dylan Thomas became obsessed with learning what made words “tick, beat, burn.” At the kitchen table in the Thomases’ suburban house in Wales, he tirelessly bothered his older sister, Nancy, for subjects for poems. His mother, Florrie, later said that verse simply came pouring out of him. He wrote about anything that came to mind: the kitchen sink, his bike, a love of bread and butter. For paper he used cardboard from his father’s ironed shirts, fresh from the laundry. He filled the cards with neatly scripted stanzas, adorned with scribbled, playful drawings, and decorated the walls of the family parlor with them. He loved to engage both eye and ear. It was a visual approach to craft that he used often during his career.

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