What’re a Welsh actor and a Welsh poet doing in musings about visiting Ireland?

UPDATED POST:  There were audio issues in the first upload.  They have now been somewhat corrected (July 4, 2011).

It turns out that Dylan Thomas, one of Clarke’s favorite poets of all time, a Welshman, lived for a while in Ennistymon, near the Western Coast of Ireland (by which we travelled on Saturday).  His wife’s family, the Mac Namaras, owned the Falls Hotel.  Dirt poor, the newly wed Thomases lived with her parents for a while.

Thomas died at a young age but was a prolific lyrical poet whose lines when read resonated the same message in both content and sound.  For your listening pleasure, the actor Richard Burton, a Welshman himself, reads a short clip from Dylan Thomas’ Under the Milk Wood, a play which was Thomas’ most acclaimed work.  The portion Burton reads is the letter that Rev. Eli Jenkins (a preacher who confuses his sermons with poetry!) writes to his wife about how much he loves the town they live in.  The irony of this letter arises as he compares the greatness of Wales with the tiny, inconsequential town of  Llareggub.  Llareggub, the fictional town which is the setting for Under the Milk Wood is a play on words ~ when reversed is “bugger all,” a genuine British expression which means “little or nothing at all.”

(Source:  This 1954 audio recording by the BBC is in the public domain.)

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