Watch: Treorchy Male Voice Choir’s exquisite tribute to Dylan Thomas
On 14 May 1953 Under Milk Wood was read on stage at The Poetry Centre in New York, with Dylan Thomas himself taking part in the first cast performance of his legendary play for voices.
The date is now internationally recognised as Dylan Thomas Day, with events and performances taking place in all shapes and sizes to celebrate the life and work of the Welsh poet, who died just six months after the reading.
This year, the world famous Treorchy Male Voice Choir have released a stunning video marking the occasion combining a passionate reading from Under Milk Wood by second tenor and Welsh actor, Richard Elfyn and a beautiful rendition of the ‘Sunset Poem’, The Reverend Eli Jenkins’ Prayer.
Sunset Poem by Dylan Thomas
Every morning when I wake,
Dear Lord, a little prayer I make,
O please do keep Thy lovely eye
On all poor creatures born to die
And every evening at sun-down
I ask a blessing on the town,
For whether we last the night or no
I’m sure is always touch-and-go.
We are not wholly bad or good
Who live our lives under Milk Wood,
And Thou, I know, wilt be the first
To see our best side, not our worst.
O let us see another day!
Bless us all this night, I pray,
And to the sun we all will bow
And say, good-bye – but just for now!
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I’m always amazed how seriously this poem is taken and the faux emotion it appears to generate.
An interesting connection between this poem and Treorci is that Dylan Thomas is said to have based his portrait of Rev Eli Jenkins on the Rev Orchwy Bowen who was born and bred in Treorci and was a minister in Cei Newydd [New Quay], Cerdigion when Thomas lived there.