Dylan Marlais Thomas was born in 1914 in Swansea, South Wales. “Marlais” was the name of an uncle of his father who had been a poet and who took the bardic name “Marles” from a stream that ran near his birthplace. The name “Dylan” came from one of the medieval prose romances in the Mabinogion. As a noun the word means “sea” or “ocean.” In the Mabinogion Dylan makes a brief appearance when Math the son of Mathonwy challenges Aranrhod, who claims to be a virgin, to step over his magic wand. “A fine boy-child with rich yellow hair” drops from her as she does so. Math son of Mathonwy calls him Dylan, and the child makes for the sea, his natural element.2


Secretive Image Grammar School English Writer Magic Wand Christmas Tree 
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© Louis Simpson 1978

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  • Louis Simpson

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