Dylan Thomas’s “Lament”: A Poet of Human Reality (Published)
In the poem “Lament,” Dylan Thomas moans that Auden’s art songs are all sarcastic about the political and the war poets’ ignorance of metaphysical process of intensity, their conflicting love of mortal desires while keeping himself to ascetic aloofness, indifferent to the sufferings of the lovers of his art song. Auden’s songs of self-renunciation, self-denunciation, and Annunciation are his long stream of exploits and harvests of the fellow-poets’ ignorance. Quite contrastingly, Thomas’s art songs, while directing the suffering ignorant poets to the Yeatsian introspective process of life and death, individuation and integration, mortal vision of Grecian altruistic art song, offer a hope for poetry and promising future and happy life. In the poem “Lament,” there is further perception that Auden’s pursuit of immortal vision of immortal art itself may be as unsubstantial and illusory as all the dreaming lovers of Auden’s art. What Thomas shows in the poem is the Yeatsian paradoxical truth, the Yeatsian introspective process of transfiguration and transformation that assures him of Grecian philanthropic impersonal art. He finds that Yeats’s mortal vision of pagan philanthropic impersonal art and human reality is analogous to the sceptic poetic tradition of Thomas Hardy, A.E. Houseman and William Blake.