11 DECEMBER 1964, Page 12

SIR,—May I be allowed to comment on Constantine FitzGibbon's caricature

of my recently published Dylan: Druid of the Broken Body in your issue of November 27?

When he says that I interpret Dylan Thomas's 'whole life's work as one long act of poetical devo- tion as the poet progresses from Chapel to the Roman Catholic Church,' and then adds, 'He never voluntarily entered either,' he leaves the reader un- acquainted with my work to deduce that I was unaware of these facts.

Indeed, I have underlined the danger of over- stating the case: 'We must, of course, beware of overstatement, for it is not at all certain that :.e arrived at these beliefs through an act of conscious theologising.' A poet is not a theologian, and all I claimed was 'a developing orthodoxy of feeling in his work which warrants his being claimed as a Christian poet.' I expressed the hope that 'his bio- grapher, when he comes to trace the development of his poetic career and to assess the influence of friends and to make a thorough study of his letters and 'ais reading, will be able to throw some light on this mystery' (of his movement from Protestant to Catholic imagery).

Since publication I have received from an American scholar who has read some of Thomas's ietters, testimony that he claimed that his 'philo- sophy' was only a slight adaptation of Roman Catholicism. I cannot quote verbatim, because of an embargo on publication, but I hope Mr. Fitz- Gibbon will have succeeded in including this letter in his book.


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