Jerusalem Poet Honoured/The Changing Style Of Dylan Thomas – Poetry News Roundup October 21st

Today on My Poetic Side we look at the poet honoured on the anniversary of his death and the fifth notebook of Dylan Thomas.

“Poet of Jerusalem” Honoured

The acclaimed Turkish poet, author and philosopher Nuri Pakdil, was commemorated earlier this week on the first anniversary of his death. The poet, who is buried in Ankara, is often referred to as the “Poet of Jerusalem”.

Pakdil, who passed away on 18th October 2019, was a significant figure in the world of Turkish literature. He was 85 when he died and during his lengthy career, he penned a total of 32 books, including poetry, essays, plays and also translations from French into Turkish.

In 1972, he founded “Edebiyat Dergisi Yayınları” (Literature Magazine Publishing). His own works were published widely in many magazines and he was a recipient of the Necip Fazil Respect Award, a literature award that is widely esteemed, in 2014. He received a number of poetry awards over the years as well, and in 2013 he received a Culture and Arts Grand Award from the Culture and Tourism Ministry.

Dylan Thomas – Changing Style

The poet Dylan Thomas’s lost fifth notebook gives some clues into the poet’s changing style over the years.

The notebook was purchased by Swansea University in 2014 from an auction at Sotheby’s. It was a school exercise book that was full of poems. Written in the poet’s own hand, the book contained around 16 poems and was purchased for £85,000.

Over the years that followed, it was the work of Professor John Goodby and a PhD student to decipher and edit the notebook, examining the work of the poet.

From around the age of 15, Thomas would copy his poetry into school exercise books, a fact that is mentioned in the short story “The Fight”. He also referred to his notebooks in a letter that he wrote in 1933. Unlike many other poets and authors, these notebooks filed with his teenage scribbles were not something he discarded as he grew older but something that he carried around with him and until 1941, raided for material for his books.

During the second world war, when things got financially very difficult Thomas made the decision to sell the first four notebooks, which covered April 1930 to April 1934, and they were purchased by a University in America. They were published in 1967.

This is the first and only notebook to have appeared since that time. It was found in a supermarket carrier bag with 2 notes, the second of which suggests that Thomas gave the notebook to a maid in his mother-in-law’s house to be burned – she did not and when she died in 1984 the notebook passed to her family who eventually sent it to auction.

What the notebooks show is the poet’s first drafts; the unedited works of some of his poems. There are corrections and significant alterations to some of the poems – which, unlike the contents of the other notebooks, have all been published. Work on editing the notebooks which offer a unique insight into how the poet worked has finished recently.

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