Prince Charles to be part of marathon Dylan Thomas reading

Prince Charles, left, will be part of a marathon reading in October to celebrate poet Dylan Thomas' centenary.
( Ben A. Pruchnie/Getty Images / AP-file)

Well, his is the Prince of Wales.

Prince Charles will participate in a marathon reading of Welsh poet Dylan Thomas’ work in October to celebrate the centenary of his birth, the BBC reports.

During his life and some time after his death in 1953, Thomas’ reputation was colored by his bad behavior and heavy drinking. Yet as those criticisms faded, he has become a celebrated and beloved poet.

There have been many events celebrating 2014 as Thomas’ centenary, but the October celebration in Swansea, his birthplace, will be the biggest.


The marathon reading will take place for 36 nonstop hours leading up to Thomas’ 100th birthday, Oct. 27, ending at 11 p.m., the time he was born. The reading will include poems, letters, short stories and his play, “Under Milkwood.”

Prince Charles, the royal patron of the Dylan Thomas 100 festival, has recorded the poem “Fern Hill,” which is slated to be played in October.

“For National Poetry Day, I was very glad, if somewhat hesitant -- to be able to record a reading of one of my personal favorites, ‘Fern Hill,’ with its poignant and moving evocation of a rural west Wales childhood,” Prince Charles said last year. “I cannot help feeling this is one of the great legacies of Thomas’ poetry - that it inspires people to appreciate the incomparable landscape of Wales.”

Other participants include Sir Ian McKellen, Sir Derek Jacobi, Jonathan Pryce, Matthew Rhys, politicians, television stars and a former bishop of Canterbury.

Actor Michael Sheen, who will be in New York, will read Thomas’ poem “And death shall have no dominion” via a live feed.

McKellan will read one of Thomas’ best-known poems, “Do not go gentle into that good night,” during the final hours of the marathon.


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