No survey of Welsh poets would be complete without poems by Dylan Thomas. No intro or background about him is needed, but if you do want to read more, you can do so on the website devoted to his life and work.
I'll devote the next few blogs to his work, starting with a poem that is a favorite of my son, Dylan (who, like Dylan Thomas, is named after Dylan Eil Ton, a character in the Mabinogion).
From The Collected Poems of Dylan Thomas, New Directions, 1971
THE HAND THAT SIGNED THE PAPER
The hand that signed the paper felled a city;
Five sovereign fingers taxed the breath,
Doubled the globe of dead and halved a country;
These five kings did a king to death.
The mighty hand leads to a sloping shoulder,
The finger joints are cramped with chalk;
A goose's quill has put an end to murder
That put an end to talk.
The hand that signed the treaty bred a fever,
And famine grew, and locusts came;
Great is the hand that holds dominion over
Man by a scribbled name.
The five kings count the dead but do not soften
The crusted wound nor stroke the brow;
A hand rules pity as a hand rules heaven;
Hands have no tears to flow.