Dylan Thomas Influence

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Many of William Blake’s most popular works including Song of Innocence and of Experience and The Book of Urizen have had significant influence on 1930s writer Dylan Thomas. The thesis that fulfilled Hugh Grant’s Masters of Arts in English titled “The Influence of William Blake on the Poetry and Prose of Dylan Thomas” explains that Thomas came from a lower class family, was self-educated, and his work was not very popular when he was alive, similarly to Blake (14). The thesis discusses Thomas’s reading habits and makes the observation that on Christmas one of the pieces of literature he received was Blake’s complete works (Grant 1). Throughout his childhood, Thomas read Blake and many can conclude that this formed much of his beliefs and attitudes…show more content…
Poem number eleven within his notebook starts with the lines, “‘The shepard blew upon his reed a strange fragility of notes’” which is a clear imitation of the first few lyrics of Blake’s Songs of Innocence. It was also discovered that the twelfth poem titled The Shepherd to His Lass contained early imitations of pastoral lyrics, which can be reasonably attributed to Blake’s influence, given Thomas’s great interest in Blake (13-14 Grant). Dylan Thomas’s concept of the Divine Image can also be given credit to Blake’s influence from Vala; much of the imagery used in Thomas’s In the Beginning is very Blakean and can be traced to similarities in The Book of Urizen. The use of imagery that incorporates blood and anatomy is consistent with both poets while they tend to see the world in human form. For example, they both view the creation of the world as the creation of the human body and views the world in it’s “fallen form” in terms of a “giant sleeping body” (Grant 17). In Thomas’s short story “The Visitor”, about a dying man being taken care of by a women and visited by a peculiar character, there is a direct quotation taken from Blake’s The Book of…show more content…
The article “Zeopod 10: His Dark Materials– Blake and Pullman” written by Jason Whittaker, an author of several books on the subject of Blake, concludes that Pullman's interest in Blake started long before his writings reflected his work and was even the President of the Blake Society in 2004 (2). He has also extensively written about the Romantic poet. Pullman’s trilogy composed of Northern Lights, known as The Golden Compass in the United States, The Subtle Knife, and The Amber Spyglass were published between 1995 and 2000. His critically acclaimed The Amber Spyglass was awarded the Whitbread Book of the Year prize in 2002 while The Golden Compass was made into a movie in 2007 (Whittaker 1). The most evidence of Blake’s influence is shown in the His Dark Materials trilogy. In the acknowledgements of Pullman’s trilogy, he states that even though he has stolen ideas from almost all the books he has read that, “three debts are to be acknowledged above all others: Heinrich von Kleist’s On the Marionette Theatre, John Milton’s Paradise Lost, and “the works of William Blake”” (qtd. in Whittaker 2). Blake's poetry is also frequently used in the chapter headings of The Amber Spyglass; in the opening chapter of the novel Pullman uses the first four lines of Blake’s Little Girl Lost (Whittaker 2, 8). Pullman also draws inspiration from Blake’s Little Girl Lost
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