Dylan Thomas, "The Force that Through the Green Fuse Drives the Flower"
The force that through the green
fuse drives the flower
Drives my green age; that blasts the roots of trees
Is my destroyer.
And I am dumb to tell the crooked rose
My youth is bent by the same wintry fever.
The force that drives the water through the rocks
Drives my red blood; that dries the mouthing streams
Turns mine to wax.
And I am dumb to mouth unto my veins
How at the mountain spring the same mouth sucks.
The hand that whirls the water in the pool
Stirs the quicksand; that ropes the blowing wind
Hauls my shroud sail.
And I am dumb to tell the hanging man
How of my clay is made the hangman's lime.
The lips of time leech to the fountain head;
Love drips and gathers, but the fallen blood
Shall calm her sores.
And I am dumb to tell a weather's wind
How time has ticked a heaven round the stars.
And I am dumb to tell the lover's tomb
How at my sheet goes the same crooked worm.
1. How does Dylan Thomas use the poetic device of consonance in this poem?
2. What is "the force that through the green fuse drives the flower"?
3. Explain how Thomas understands the relation between the natural world and himself.
4. Find 3 instances of personification in this poem. Explain each.
5. What is Dylan Thomas suggesting about the natural world? How does he do this?
6. What does Thomas see in both himself and in nature? What moves and livens everything?
7. What is the relation between love, time, and eternity in this poem? (16-22)
8. Why does the poet say that he is "dumb," or unable to speak?