Sianel / 11 Medi 2014

George Capsis on Dylan Thomas in the White Horse Tavern

The White Horse Tavern had a British pub atmosphere and was a regular stopping off point for seamen working on the Hudson River – their presence reminding Thomas of the dockside watering-holes of Swansea. Imagine dockworkers and union activists discussing strike tactics in one corner, whilst in the other William Burroughs and Allen Ginsberg are exploding the American Dream. For the ‘Rimbaud of Cwmdonkin Drive’ this provided the perfect stage for some beer and whisky-fuelled verbal jousting with New York’s literary luminaries.

Dylan Thomas thrived on such situations, and often used his bravado and cunning to get better pay or further adventures. At the bar as well as on the stage, Thomas' natural charisma and dramatic and lyrical use of language left all around him spellbound.