"Love in the Asylum"
Poem By Dylan Thomas
Poem suggestion by Roy Neal Grissom
I was at the Feature again today (ain't I ALWAYS there?;}) when I noticed that you also welcomed poems. Well, I don't know how appropriate this is, and you may choose to not use it (which is fine), but I wanted to submit a poem by my very favorite poet of all, Dylan Thomas. If you haven't studied Dylan I don't know what I can tell you. I wrote a paper on him in English Lit, and I think he's absolutely FASCINATING! Here was a man in our mechanistic, dark, and gray 20th Century who spoke of the primal things--things long since forgotten by modern man, like the cuckoo's month. His was an almost medieval romanticism and pastoralism. He died at 39, but he recorded most of his poems (including the one that follows) and I hope you have access to this priceless heritage he left us all (try university libraries).
Anyway, this poem is entitled "Love in the Asylum." This is strange, because he usually titled his poems by their first lines. But he titled this one "Love in the Asylum." I can't tell you what the poem means objectively, but I can tell you what it means to me. It seems to speak of a man who has been denied love for a very long time. He is in an "asylum" of lovelessness and rejection. But "at long and dear last" into this joyless world an invader has come! And invader who defies all the conventions of the mad house and its guards and wards! And by coming she offers hope to the narrator of at last experiencing something very primal. As I said, I don't know if it fits. It *could* be spoken by the poor clown Dale when he realizes what has come into his life. But then again, it could also be spoken by Chip in reference to Gadget. And if the genders of the narrator and the invader were reversed, it could just as well be spoken by Foxy herself on finding Dale or maybe even Gadget when the chipmunks interrupt her lonely life of mourning for her father--though this latter case is not as likely, as Gadget has no romantic aspirations (at least conscious ones) upon meeting the boys. Anyway, here it is for your perusal and interest.
A stranger has come
Love in the Asylum
To share my room in the house not right in the head,
A girl mad as birds
Bolting the night of the door with her arm her plume.
Strait in the mazed bed
She deludes the heaven-proof house with entering clouds
Yet she deludes with walking the nightmarish room,
At large as the dead,
Or rides the imagined oceans of the male wards.
She has come possessed
Who admits the delusive light through the bouncing wall,
Possessed by the skies
She sleeps in the narrow trough yet she walks the dust
Yet raves at her will
On the madhouse boards worn thin by my walking tears.
And taken by light in her arms at long and dear last
I may without fail
Suffer the first vision that set fire to the stars.
A stranger has come
You know, on reading that now, it DOES seem to fit Dale's situation! I know he's not much of a poet or fancy talker, but I can imagine him reciting this poem in his heart when he observes his wife (how did he get so lucky?) enjoying with childlike enthusiasm the comforts of a life she was for so long cruelly denied. (I hope it doesn't appear as if all the joy and "magic" of this relationship goes one way. In my stories Dale's appearance and ultimate accepting of her is sheer bliss to Foxy, absolutely too good to be true. It's just that I can't think offhand of any poems from her point of view. Maybe some of the female Rangerphiles could find such more easily.)
Anyway, hope you liked it. There are lots of webpages dedicated to Dylan Thomas, the simple lad with no college education who had thoughts so deep and profound no intellectual can equal.
- The Enduring Man Child
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