Caught by the River

A Wild Man Who Caught And Sang The Sun In Flight

9th November 2013


‘To begin at the beginning…’

Sixty years ago today, the poet Dylan Marlais Thomas succumbed to a “severe insult to the brain” in St. Vincent’s Hospital in Manhattan. So the story goes, a few days earlier he’d hit a South Walian stride in the White Horse pub before returning to the Chelsea Hotel and remarking “I’ve had 18 straight whiskies, and I think that’s the record.” For New York maybe, back in Post-War Swansea that was your average weeknight in the local.

Thomas’ legend endures here and overseas because the words he left us with conjure an uncommon magic – the fact he inspired the creators of Coronation Street as well as a young Robert Zimmerman are evidence enough of this. This next year is the centenary of his birth, an anniversary that’s due to be marked with events all over Wales and out into the rest of the world. Caught by the River’s low-key tribute to the great man – Under Dubwood – has recently been picked up by Radio 4 and used as a soundbed. The original 7″ sold out an age ago – watch this space next week for some good news for anyone seeking out a copy. Until then…

(Here’s hoping the spirit of Dylan Thomas helps the boyos in red against South Africa this afternoon)