Poem in October by Dylan Thomas Analysis

Poem in October
Poem in October

Analysis of Poem in October

Stanza One

In the first stanza of ‘Poem in October’ the speaker begins by stating that he was thirty years old. He describes his age in years of progress towards death or heaven. Now that he’s thirty, he’s thirty years closer to death than he was when he was born. subsequent lines are perfect samples of the creative way that Thomas utilized nouns and adjectives. He described the shore as being “Priested” by herons. they’re everywhere, lording over a land that’s given a spiritual quality through Thomas’ option to use “Priested” instead of another word like “ruled.”

This is one of the various sights and sounds that Thomas’ speaker awakened to on this particular morning. There was also the harbour to listen to and therefore the “neighbour wood.” From there he might hear the sounds of the leaves rustling, or small animals running and walking.

These sounds are pleasing to the speaker’s ear. They “beckon” or call him from his bed out into the planet a bit like the morning, the water is personified within the next lines. it’s said to be “praying.” The waves dip and rise as if kneeling in prayer. The scene, like many of these to follow, is overwhelming. There are sights and sounds, all of which the speaker wants to require in. These include the sounds of seabirds calling and therefore the sound of boats knocking again the “webbed wall” of the dock.

It is at the top of those lines that the speaker declares he “set foot” therein “moment.” The town was “still sleeping” but as has been made abundantly clear, the remainder of the planet isn’t. What one isn’t sure of at now is where the speaker goes.

Stanza Two

 The speaker reminds the reader that it had been his birthday. He turned thirty years old and he’s happening a sort of celebratory walk. He takes note of the “water-/Birds” again and people which fly into and around the trees. all of them seem to be centered around him, “flying” his “name” round the surrounding “farms and therefore the white horses.” it’s interesting that the speaker chose to introduce the farmland and therefore the horses at now. The setting is somewhat jumbled as if the speaker is really recalling a variety of landscapes and weaving them together. Alternatively, the “white horses” could ask the waves themselves.

The speaker is prepared to pursue this walk for a short time longer and rises within the “rainy autumn” to “walk…abroad.” He also explains how his movements impact the planet around him. even as he’s getting up the waves crash and therefore the heron “dived” into the ocean.

In the final lines of this section the speaker leaves behind the town. He speaks of a “border” he has got to cross and “gates” he has got to open. Whether these are real or not, they were previously an impediment to his leaving the enclosed area. Now they’re not. Just his place within the town closes behind him, the town begins to awaken.

Stanza Three

A number of other images follow in ‘Poem in October.’ The season is rich, and although it’s autumn he sees,

A spring full of larked during a rolling

Cloud and therefore the roadside bushes brimming with whistling


The area is alive and more like summer of spring than autumn. He expands this concept by about the “sun of October” as “Summery,” or like summer. It sits on the “hill’s shoulder,” another instance of personification. Now that one has progressed this far into the piece the reasoning behind Thomas’ constant use of personification is sensible. He wanted to form the whole world seem alive and relatable to the reader.

He describes the world as playing host to “fond climates and sweet singers.” The speaker mentions the birds again in these lines, also because of the “rain.” These are two of the most images of the poem which happen again and again. The birds, even as they need within the previous stanzas, “Come within the morning.” They happen within the same area the speaker walked in and wandered in. He takes note of the wind that wrings the rain and blows “cold / within the wood faraway” underneath him.

The use of the word “faraway” is interesting in these lines. The wind and rain are present, under him, but also are far away from him. this will be understood in an alternate, more ephemeral way. The rain is waytherein it’s “dreamlike” or mentally distant. this is often more suitable to Thomas’ language and therefore the setting he has created.

Stanza Four

In the next set of ten lines, the speaker returns again to the rain. it’s now described as “Pale” and hanging over the “dwindling harbour.” He continues his progress up Capitol Hill. He gets farther and farther from the boats and dock where he began. subsequent lines are a satisfying jumble of images that are characteristic of Thomas. He speaks of,

[…] the ocean wet church the dimensions of a snail

With its horns through mist and therefore the castle

Brown as owls

He is far beyond the boundaries of the town now and has stepped into his own nature-inspired dream. it’s a place during which he can “marvel” over the gardens of spring and summer. they’re blooming “in the tall tales.” this provides the reader a touch about the truth of this word the speaker is describing. it’s a “tall tale,” or a lie, not a true place he can actually explore.

The last lines of stanza five speak on how on Capitol Hill he could “marvel” at the “weather” but, as soon as he got up there it began to maneuver off.

Stanza Five

The rain moved away “from the blithe,” or unworried country. The sky is clearing up,

[…] and therefore the blue altered sky

Streamed again a wonder of summer

Here again, is another reference in ‘Poem in October’ to the autumn turning into the summer. The speaker is consumed by the enjoyment of the day, which is merely enhanced by the sweetness of the landscape. When he looks around him he can see all the wonders of summer. He remembers all the days he’s been here before, as a toddler. His memories are returning to him of a time when the planet was made from color. There are “red currants” and “green chapels.” Everything was vivid and pure.

He remembers the mornings he came to an equivalent hill together with his “mother.” The speaker walked “through parables.” These are stories that have an underlying moral or spiritual lesson. they seem throughout the Bible and are connected immediately to the “green chapels” in line ten. it’s not clear why the speaker remembers the chapel as being green, perhaps due to the green landscape they were situated in.

Stanza Six

As the poem nears its end, the speaker dives deeper into his memories. He sees himself as being so different from the boy that they’re separate people. He remembers the “his tears burned [his] cheeks.” The speaker feels the young boy’s heart as distant from his own. Through these lines the speaker is making clear that although he has returned to the present place and is again experiencing joy, it’s nothing compared to the “truth of…joy” he knew during the “Summertime” of his youth.

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The “dead” of his past, the times of summer he can not reach, remind him of what his life wont to be and therefore the relationship he had with the planet. He knew so well the,

[…] trees and therefore the stones and the fish within the tide.

And the mystery

The world sang with “the mystery.” this is often a sort of spiritual connection that the speaker stopped valuing as he aged. He remembers it now and sees it being contained specifically within the “water and singing birds.” While meditating on the changes they have come across the person since his youth, the lines aren’t in the least depressing in tone. they’re as uplifting and celebratory as all those which proceeded them.

Stanza Seven

The last ten lines of ‘Poem in October’ depict how the “joy” of his childhood returned to him on this thirtieth birthday and what that meant to the speaker. He was able on his birthday to travel to the present place. because it did previously, the weather turns around. he’s under the sun and experiencing how the,

The joy of the long dead child sang burning

In the sun.

He addresses the very fact that this was again his “thirtieth / Year to heaven.” He has risen as on the brink of heaven as he’s getting to get at now in his life. The speaker has left behind the autumn weather that surrounds and contains the “town below” and for his birthday has gone elsewhere, to a dreamland of heat, joy, and childhood. He asks within the last lines that his happiness remain on Capitol Hill, and be sung “in a year’s turning.”

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