A Poet in New York Premium

22 May 2014 | by John Morrish


BBC2Language is powerful juju, and meddling with it too intently can release all manner of horrors; hence the poète maudit, the cursed poet. The story of Dylan Thomas is emblematic. A fluent writer of verse from his teens, technically dazzling, he moved into the metropolitan literary world, began drinking heavily and became a sort of parody of the poet as public figure, subsequently dying while entertaining his eager American public. In A Poet In New York (BBC2, 18 May), Andrew Davies told the familiar story: the question was whether he could bring anything new to it. There were two parallel narratives: Thomas in his final weeks in New York; and Thomas, earlier, in Wales with his indulgent Mam and Dad and wife, Caitlin (a handful herself). For extra spice, there were brief scenes f

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