I was born 27th October 1944
Poem In October
It was my thirtieth year to heaven
Woke to my hearing from harbour and neighbour wood
And the mussel pooled and the heron
The morning becon
With water praying and call of seagull and rook
And the knock of the sailing boats on the net webbed wall
Myself set foot
In the still sleeping town and set forth
Dylan Thomas was born on the 27th October 1914, thirty years before me. I have always been close to his poetry. Many years later I got to know his daughter, Aeronwy, very slightly. She could never make up her mind whether she was Aeronwy Thomas or Aeronwy Ellis, her married name. It made phoning her a nightmare. ‘May I speak to Aeronwy Thomas please’? ‘There is no one of that name here. I am Aeronwy Ellis’. Or again ‘May I speak to Aeronwy Ellis’? ‘There is no one of that name here. I am Aeronwy Thomas’. I noted from her obituaries that she drove everyone else up the wall with this performance. Mercifully, someone eventually persuaded her to call herself Aeronwy Thomas Ellis.
Even more daunting was talking to her son, who was pure Sarf London (they lived in Surbiton). ‘May I talk to your mother please?’ ‘Snotin’. ‘When will she return’. ‘Duno’. I was talking to the grandson of one of our greatest poets and I needed a translator.
Still, the poem wasn’t a bad start to life.