DOROTHY W. GOODFELLOW
To MANY OF US, I feel sure, the appearance of Dylan Thomas on the poetic scene was meteorlike. It was only a few years ago-1950 to be exact --that he visited us for the first time to read his own and other poets' works at the 92nd Street Y.M.H.A., the Modern Museum, and a number of colleges and universities. And in 1952, New Directions brought out In Country Sleep, which Caedmon Recordings distributed along with their first record of Dylan Thomas reading his own poetry and prose. Then, on November 10, 1953, at the age of thirty-nine, he died suddenly of a cerebral hemorrhage while in New York preparing to go on another reading tour and then to join Stravinsky on the West Coast, where he and the composer planned to collaborate on an opera. When the telegram about his death came to the Stravinskys, they thought that it was announcing his arrival. The New York Times obituary stated, "The consensus of critics was that Dylan Thomas was the best of the 'younger' poets . . . meaning the generation after T. S. Eliot and W. H. Auden. This reputation was achieved on the basis of only ninety published poems in his twenty-two years of adult life."