A Glass for Dylan Thomas

Sing of urge! of dirge!
of sin, din, rot, wad, wart!
Sing of awe! Sing well!
Of fog—ah, fog!—sing well!
Sing, my lad, my son,
Nib of my nub, pit of my pot!
Sing, son! All wan males, sing!
Defy a wall! Defy an eon!
Defy all leas!
Part a lip, a lap!
Ream well! Seam well!
O, I am sad, I am not sad!
So I sing: Do well! Crap in a pot,
crap in a car, do!
Nip a gam, con a dam!
Gab, nag, o dosi do!
Bop-bop-a-bip! Sing!
Bip-bip-a-bop! Sing!
Go off on a sward,
Map a lair, sell an ad!
Sell well! Sing!
O, I am dotsy! I am not dotsy!
So I sing! Sing, sad dog!
I said sing!


1Llareggub, an invented Welsh name for the village in Dylan Thomas’ “Under Milk Wood.” Backwards, it reads Bugger all. Accordingly, all words in this poem are Welsh, spelled backwards to create English.


Professor Emeritus of English at Ohio Northern University, Claude Clayton Smith is the author of eight books and co-editor/translator of two others. His own work has been translated into five languages, including Russian and Chinese. His degrees include an MFA from the Writers' Workshop at the University of Iowa. He lives in Madison, Wisconsin, with his wife of 40 years.

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