Aspects of music within poetry: From Dylan Thomas to Thomas Bernhard

The Welsh poet Dylan Thomas made history not only in literature, but also in music. The famous singer & songwriter Robert Allen Zimmermann, called himself, after he had read his poems, Bob Dylan.  The Stones and the Beatles were influenced by Dylan Thomas. Paul Mc Cartney said, "we all used to like Dylan Thomas, I think John started writing because of him."

 

 

Dylan Thomas did fascinate iconic bands like the Beatles and the Stones, but not only that,his influence on musicians and writers ist still allive. The German actor and singer Michael Hansonis has released  an album with  pop songs on Dylan Thomas lyrics, the cd is called " Drink and Drive with Dylan Thomas." The Austrian poet and scientist  Raul Schrott has made some marvelous translations into German, better than all others. An example of his translations:


In my craft or sullen art - In meinem Handwerk, meiner trotzigen Kunst
Dylan Thomas übersetzt von Raoul Schrott

In meinem Handwerk, meiner trotzigen Kunst
Den Exerzitien einer stillen Nacht
Wenn nur der Mond mehr wütet
Und die Liebenden zu Bette liegen

All ihre Nöte in ihren Armen
Mühe ich mich im singenden Licht,
Nicht für Ehre oder Brot,
Eitlen Gang oder tauschhandelnden Zauber
Auf elfenbeinenen Bühnen,
Sondern für den ganz gewöhnlichen Lohn
Ihres allergeheimsten Herzens.

Nicht für den Einzelgänger
Fernab des wütenden Mondes schreib’ ich
Auf diese schaumtaumelnden Seiten,
Nicht für die über allen thronenden Toten
Mit ihren Nachtigallen und Psalmen,
Sondern für die Liebenden,

Ihre Arme ausgebreitet rund um die Nöte dieser Zeiten,
Die es mir weder mit Lob noch Lohn vergelten,

Noch auf meine Kunst oder mein Handwerk hören.

 

 

Dylan Thomas is a highly musical poet, he comes from Wales, it´s clear, that this part of england with its strong dialect brings out such a poet. the dialect, the language itself is very musical, half singing. 

Thomas Bernhard, whose literature can be read as a music piece, wrote: " For a musical  and a mathematical man as I am and you are, Gambetti, I ´ve said to him, the german language has something martyring.... The German language ist  without any musicality.... The German poets have only a primitive instrumentarium at disposal, I said to Gambetti, therefore it´s hundred times more difficult for them." (citation Thomas Bernhard: Auslöschung).

The poem "Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night", which Dylan Thomas wrote about his dying father became very famous. Dylan Thomas died only two years later, than his father, in 1953 in New York, where he fell to coma after 18 Whiskeys, he was only 39 years old.

 The actor Sir Anthony Hopkins is reading now Dylan Thomas: Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night.

 

 

 

 

Dylan Thomas  - translated by the poet Dan Danila into Romanian.