Thing is, this is actually a pretty embarrassing thing to admit…
I need a time machine. I need to go back in time and confront my old Eng. Lit. teacher. I need him to explain why the hell he allowed me to remain ignorant of the works of Dylan Thomas for 45 years.
Enbarrassingly, I have only recently discovered the poem “Do not go gentle into that good night”. Oh. My. Word. What a beautiful, evocative, heart-rending piece that is. Thomas’s use of language is masterful, a painting with words, as capable as any piece of music of stirring the emotions.
I had seen the BBC’s 2014 centenary adaptation of Under Milk Wood and was captivated by the fluidity of language, the euphony, the rhythm and flow of the story, but didn’t investigate further at the time. I need to see it again.
Why was it, all those years ago, given that we had such talent in Britain, I had to sit through the interminable dullness of Joseph Conrad’s The Brute? I can still remember lessons spent slipping slowly into a stupor as the tedious tale unfolded with glacial slowness. Put me right off, it did.
Mind you, we did get to read On Saturday Morning by Alan Sillitoe, so that was good.
(Update: I can’t find that story on Google – have I misremembered the title/author? It was written from the viewpoint of a young lad who helps a neighbour [fail to] hang himself.)
(Update 2: found it – it’s called On Saturday Afternoon.)