On a Wedding Anniversary by Dylan Thomas

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Date Submitted: 05/31/2008 10:01 AM

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Dylan Thomas’s poem, “On A Wedding Anniversary,” is a poem that describes how three years of marriage has affected a couple’s relationship. When they first wed, they were a strong couple. But now, their relationship has been weathered down to nothing over the years. In the poem, Thomas paints a picture that appears almost torturous by using diction, metaphors and similes, irony, and imagery.

First of all, the word choice Thomas uses throughout the poem is essential in creating the tone. When Thomas refers to the sky as “torn across,” he is describing how their relationship was destroyed because of the conflict between them. He specifically chose the word “torn” because it signifies damage over a long period of time, which is what has happened in this marriage. Thomas then uses the word “ragged” to depict an image of their third anniversary. By saying that it is ragged, it helps the reader envision the anniversary as a worn, strained event. The fourth line, where Thomas writes “Down the long walks of their vows,” reveals that the last three years of their marriage has dragged on for what seems like an eternity.

Secondly, he uses other literary techniques to add more feeling to the poem. He proceeds to use alliteration when he says “Now their love lies a loss” to draw our attention closer to the poem. In the sixth line, personification is used to show love as a chained, enraged animal that’s been confined for too long. Like a bull in a rodeo right before the gate opens, just waiting to escape from its constraints. In line eight, where Thomas says, “Carrying cloud, Death strikes their house,” I believe he is talking about how the connection they felt has vanished, and has been substituted with more conflict. Death is not actually striking a house; it is really a metaphor symbolizing the end of a romance.

Finally, in the last stanza, Thomas leaves the reader with a vivid image of the couples struggle to escape their fate of spending their...