Dylan Thomas (1914-1953) prepared this volume in 1952the author's choice of the ninety poems he felt would best represent his work up to that timeand it was published by New Directions in 1953 as The Collected Poems of Dylan Thomas, shortly after his death. This book was then and remained, for all practical purposes, Thomas's "collected" poems and in that sense complete. However, with the 1971 publication of the 192 poems in The Poems of Dylan Thomas (also now available in a revised edition), Thomas's Collected Poems has naturally evolved to become Thomas's Selected Poems.
Thomas wrote his last poem, "Prologue," especially to begin this collection, and addressed it to "my readers, the strangers." Two unfinished poems are included in this edition: "Elegy," prepared by Vernon Watkins, and "In Country Heaven," prepared by Daniel Jonesboth Welsh poets were life-long friends of Dylan Thomas. Textual corrections discovered over the course of forty years have now been incorporated, and a complete index of titles and first lines, as well as a brief chronology of the author's life, have been added.
As it has for half a century, this book includes the best of Dylan Thomas's poetry"Light Breaks Where No Sun Shines," "The Force that Through the Green Fuse Drives the Flower," "And Death Shall Have No Dominion," "Poem in October," "Do Not Go Gentle into that Good Night," "The Hunchback in the Park," "In My Craft or Sullen Art," "In Country Sleep," and Thomas's poignant reflection on his youth, "Fern Hill."