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Dylan’s Great Poem

Young people around the world have a chance to celebrate National Poetry Day in a unique way: by helping to pen an epic 100-line bilingual poem inspired by the work of legendary Welsh poet Dylan Thomas.

On Thursday, October 2 (National Poetry Day), anyone aged seven to twenty-five from anywhere in the world can go to www.developingdylan100.co.uk and submit up to four lines of poetry of up to eight words each to be included in the poem. The final creation will be edited in English and Welsh and published online and performed on BBC Radio Wales.

Dylan Thomas was a Welsh poet who wrote exclusively in English. His public readings, particularly in America, won him great acclaim; his sonorous voice with a subtle Welsh lilt became almost as famous as his works. Many are familiar with his celebrated villanelle “Do not go gentle into that good night,” as well as “And death shall have no dominion” and “Fern Hill.”

“I’m looking forward to seeing what lines of poetry are submitted, and to how they respond to, distil or pick up from the style, themes and poetic devices of Dylan Thomas’ poetry.” says Owen Sheers, who will edit the poem in English. “I’m looking forward to seeing what lines of poetry are submitted, and to how they respond to, distil or pick up from the style, themes and poetic devices of Dylan Thomas’ poetry. The editing itself will be quite a challenge but will, I hope, create an intriguing and unique piece of contemporary writing as a fitting tribute to Thomas’ own inventiveness and love of language. The editing itself will be quite a challenge but will, I hope, create an intriguing and unique piece of contemporary writing as a fitting tribute to Thomas’ own inventiveness and love of language.”

The final poem will be published on Monday, October 6. For more information about Dylan’s Great Poem, click here.