Before I KnockedViewed 240 times
by Dylan Thomas
Before I knocked and flesh let enter,
With liquid hands tapped on the womb,
I who was shapeless as the water
That shaped the Jordan near my home
Was brother to Mnetha’s daughter
And sister to the fathering worm.
I who was deaf to spring and summer,
Who knew not sun nor moon by name,
Felt thud beneath my flesh’s armour,
As yet was in a molten form,
The leaden stars, the rainy hammer
Swung by my father from his dome.
I knew the message of the winter,
The darted hail, the childish snow,
And the wind was my sister suitor;
Wind in me leaped, the hellborn dew;
My veins flowed with the Eastern weather;
Ungotten I knew night and day.
As yet ungotten, I did suffer;
The rack of dreams my lily bones
Did twist into a living cipher,
And flesh was snipped to cross the lines
Of gallow crosses on the liver
And brambles in the wringing brains.
My throat knew thirst before the structure
Of skin and vein around the well
Where words and water make a mixture
Unfailing till the blood runs foul;
My heart knew love, my belly hunger;
I smelt the maggot in my stool.
And time cast forth my mortal creature
To drift or drown upon the seas
Acquainted with the salt adventure
Of tides that never touch the shores.
I who was rich was made the richer
By sipping at the sine of days.
I, born of flesh and ghost, was neither
A ghost nor man, but mortal ghost.
And I was struck down by death’s feather.
I was a mortal to the last
Long breath that carried to my father
The message of his dying christ.
You who bow down at cross and altar,
Remember me and pity Him
Who took my flesh and bone for armour
And doublecrossed my mother’s womb.
Out of a bed of love
When that immortal hospital made one more moove to
It’s my belief that every man
Should do his share of work,
And in our economic plan
I fellowed sleep who kissed me in the brain,
Let fall the tear of time; the sleeper’s eye,
Shifting to light, turned on me like a moon.
I see the boys of summer in their ruin
Lay the gold tithings barren,
Setting no store by harvest, freeze the soils;
If I were tickled by the rub of love,
A rooking girl who stole me for her side,
Broke through her straws, breaking my bandaged stri
In my craft or sullen art
Exercised in the still night
When only the moon rages
In the beginning was the three-pointed star,
One smile of light across the empty face;
One bough of bone across the rooting air,
Lie still, sleep becalmed, sufferer with the wound
In the throat, burning and turning. All night afloa …
On the silent sea we have heard the so...
Light breaks where no sun shines;
Where no sea runs, the waters of the heart
Push in their tides;
A stranger has come
To share my room in the house not right in the head …
A girl mad as birds
There once was a Square, such a square little Squar …
And he loved a trim Triangle;
But she was a flirt and around her skirt
My hero bares his nerves along my wrist
That rules form wrist to shoulder,
Unpacks the head that, like a sleepy ghost,
Man dry man,
The sky is torn across
This ragged anniversary of two
Who moved for three years in tune
On no work of words now for three lean months in th …
Belly of the rich year and the big purse of my body
Waking alone in a multitude of loves when morning's …
Surprised in the opening of her nightlong eyes
His golden yesterday asleep upon the iris