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.
He graduated form Oxford in 1928 and after spending a year in Germany returned to the UK to become a teacher.
Possibly best known for his poem “Funeral Blues”, made famous by the film Four Weddings and a Funeral. He won the Pulizer Prize in 1947 for “The Age of Anxiety”. Read More
Yeats used symbolism in his poetry, choosing and assembling words to give them meaning while suggesting significant abstract thought. His highly passionate poetry has inspired many fellow poets, writers, and creatives, including the lead singer of 20th century band The Cranberries, Dolores O’Riordan, who sadly passed away in January 2018. O’Riordan, a life-long Yeats fan, wrote Yeats’ Grave after she visited the place where he was buried.
O’Riordan was born and grew up in County Limerick, Ireland, and studied W.B. Yeats when she was at school. Speaking to Hot Press Magazine in 1994, Dolores expressed how her love for Yeats’ poetry felt at odds with the exam process, and vigorous analysis of the poetry.
The poem instantly became a symbol of the proud and resilient city. Its lines now adorn walls and buildings, offering snippets of hope and strength to its inhabitants. The poem, it seemed, now belonged to the city.
Its creator, Tony Walsh, has since decided to officially ‘gift’ the poem to Manchester, hoping its use will help raise money for thousands of community projects for the city. The popularity of the poem had grown to the point that big corporations were using lines from it without permission, and without any recompense for Manchester and its people.
She began signing and dating poems from 1842 and wrote a variety of romantic, devotional and children’s poems. However, she is least known for her best known works.
The poem In the Bleak Midwinter was written by Rossetti in January 1872, titled “A Christmas Carol”. In 1906 the poem was put to music by Gustav Holst, appearing in the English Hymnal and was then composed by Harold Edwin Darke in a later version now popular with choirs. Read More