One of the last known sketches sat for by Dylan Thomas has been gifted to a collection in Swansea. The sketch was drawn by Welsh-Canadian artist, Gordon Stuart and is the last known art drawn during the poet’s lifetime.
Dylan Thomas sat for the sketch after a chance meeting in Laugharne, where the poet’s famous boathouse and writing shed stand, and was drawn just before Thomas left for New York where he died in 1953.
Stuart gave the sketch to close friend Dr Wyn Gittins of Cross Hands, South Wales, who now lives in Canada, and it’s he who has donated the piece to Swansea Council’s Dylan Thomas Collection, flying into the city especially to present the sketch.
Although connected to Laugharne, Swansea is where Thomas was born and grew up and the city holds a substantial collection of his works, and memorabilia relating to the poet, which they feature at cultural venues across the city and beyond.
Stuart died in 1991, but during his life painted several high profile characters including US President Jimmy Carter, Welsh artist Sir Kyffin Willians, and former rugby international Cliff Morgan.
Those interested in learning more about Dylan Thomas can read a list of books about the author’s life and works here.
Although little known, the poem was originally published without title. The name Invictus (Latin for unconquered) was added later by editor Arthur Quiller-Couch. The message of the poem is fortitude in adversity, strength, and the stiff upper lip we associate with the Victorian period. Read More
Born in New Jersey, Parker had an unhappy childhood, leading to a long and unhappy relationship with her own father. She first became well known in 1918 when she stepped in for P. G Wodehouse writing theatre criticism for Vanity Fair. While her caustic wit was popular with readers, she was eventually terminated after her criticisms began to offend powerful theatre producers. Read More
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Plath had used carbon paper with her typewriter, as was often the way, while writing her poetry and recording her thoughts. Some of these scraps of carbon paper were discovered in the back of an old notebook, her words still etched on the dark ink.
Nayyirah is known as one of the most famous and loved poets on Instagram with over 250,000 followers reading her art every day.
Her poetry surrounds issues of identity and race, love, emotion, and feminism. Her brevity of language and use of punctuation and lowercase letters, encourages the reader to examine the depth of her meaning. It captivates each reader through beauty, pain, and spirit.
I hope you enjoy these selected poems, and are inspired to explore her work further.