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

By Dylan Thomas; Daniel Jones | Go to book overview

In the Direction of the Beginning

In the light tent in the swinging field in the great spring evening, near the sea and the shingled boat with a mast of cedar-wood, the hinderwood decked with beaks and shells, a folded, salmon sail, and two finned oars; with gulls in one flight high over, stork, pelican, and sparrow, flying to the ocean's end and the first grain of a timeless land that spins on the head of a sand glass, a hoop of feathers down the dark of the spring in a topsyturvy year; as the rocks in history, by every feature and scrawled limb, eye of a needle, shadow of a nerve, cut in the heart, by rifted fibre and clay thread, recorded for the rant of odyssey the dropping of the bay-leaf toppling of the oak-tree splintering of the moonstone against assassin avatar undead and numbered waves, a man was born in the direction of the beginning. And out of sleep, where the moon had raised him through the mountains in her eyes and by the strong, eyed arms that fall behind her, full of tides and fingers, to the blown sea, he wrestled over the edge of the evening, took to the beginning as a goose to the sky, and called his furies by their names from the winddrawn index of the grave and waters. Who was this stranger who came like a hailstone, cut in ice, a snowleafed seabush for her hair, and taller than a cedarmast, the north white rain descending and the whale-driven sea cast up to the caves of the eye, from a fishermen's city on the floating island? She was salt and white and travelling as the field, on one blade, swung with its birds around her, evening centred in the neverstill heart, he heard her hands among the treetops--a feather dived, her fingers flowed over the

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

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Publisher's Note v
  • Contents vii
  • Part I 1
  • A Prospect of the Sea 3
  • The Lemon 13
  • After the Fair 20
  • The Visitor 25
  • The Enemies 35
  • The Tree 42
  • The Map of Love 51
  • The Mouse and the Woman 58
  • The Dress 78
  • The Orchards 82
  • In the Direction of the Beginning 92
  • Part II 95
  • Conversation About Christmas 97
  • How to Be a Poet 104
  • The Followers 116
  • A Story 127
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