A Prospect of the Sea: And Other Stories and Prose Writings

By Dylan Thomas; Daniel Jones | Go to book overview
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The Map of Love

'Here dwell,' said Sam Rib, the 'two-backed beasts.' He pointed to his map of Love, a square of seas and islands and strange continents with a forest of darkness at each extremity. The two-backed island, on the line of the equator, went in like the skin of lupus to his touch, and the blood sea surrounding found a new motion in its waters. Here seed, up the tide, broke on the boiling coasts; the sand grains multiplied; the seasons passed; summer, in a father's heat, went down to the autumn and the first pricks of winter, leaving the island shaping the four contrary winds out of its hollows.

'Here,' said Sam Rib, digging his fingers in the hills of a little island, 'dwell the first beasts of love.' And here the get of the first loves mixed, as he knew, with the grasses that oiled their green upgoings, with their own wind and sap nurtured the first rasp of love that never, until spring came, found the nerves' answer in the fellowing blades.

Beth Rib and Reuben marked the green sea around the island. It ran through the landcracks like a boy through his first caves. Under the sea they marked the channels, painted in skeleton, that linked the first beasts' island with the boggy lands. For shame of the half-liquid plants sprouting from the bog, the pen-drawn poisons seething in the grass, and the copulation in the second mud, the children blushed.

'Here,' said Sam Rib, 'two weathers move.' He traced with his finger the lightly drawn triangles of two winds, and the mouths of two cornered cherubs. The weathers

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