Summary and Analysis of Love in the Asylum by Dylan Thomas

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About the Poet:

Dylan Marlais Thomas was a Welsh poet well-known for his strong literature. His most notable works include “do not go gentle into that good night” and “And death shall have no denominator”. He was also famous for his radio broadcasts such as “A Child’s Christmas in Wales” and “Portrait of the Artist as a Young Dog”. Born on 27th October 1914, in Swansea, Wales, Dylan left school at 16 to become a journalist for a short time, after which he got married and settled in the Welsh village of Laugharne. He later traveled to the United States and acquired his fame as a poet. On his fourth trip to New York City due to his deteriorating health, he fell into a coma and died on 9th of November, 1953.

Introduction to Love in the Asylum:

This poem by Dylan Thomas is set along the lines of a love story that involves a woman who is a patient from an asylum. Love in the Asylum is a strange poem written by Dylan Thomas about a man’s love for a crazy woman, with Dylan Thomas possibly but not certainly the man in love.

The setting of Love in the Asylum:

This poem is based on the relationship of a man with a woman who’s mentally unstable and is a patient of an asylum. Thomas could possibly be speaking of the relation between him and his wife who has suffered from disputes through many differences after their marriage.

Poetic Devices in Love in the Asylum:

Alliterations:

Line 2: my room in the house not right in the head

Line 13:  She sleeps in the narrow trough yet she walks the dust

Line 15:  worn thin by my walking tears.

Line 16:  by light in her arms at long and dear last

Line 18:  Suffer the first vision that set fire to the stars.

The Style of Love in the Asylum:

A stranger has come (A)
To share my room in the house not right in the head, (B)
A girl mad as birds (C)

Bolting the night of the door with her arm her plume. (A)
Strait in the mazed bed (B)
She deludes the heaven-proof house with entering clouds (C)


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Summary of Love in the Asylum:

Love in the Asylum is a poem by Dylan Thomas Love in the Asylum,” by Dylan Thomas is about a crazy woman in an asylum. At first, the speaker isn’t sure what to think about her, but soon finds he loves her. This poem has many metaphors, describing how the person talking feels about her. This poem shows how even though this girl is not anywhere near perfect he still falls in love with her.

Critical Analysis of Love in the Asylum:

To delude is to mislead the mind which is a clear indication of mental instability. This line tells the reader just how mad the woman is and how horrible the asylum seems to the narrator. The woman is described as “possessed” to the point where she is sent to a madhouse. However, despite her crazy and nightmarish actions, it is obvious at the end of the poem that the man will continue to love and adore her even through the difficult times.

Central Idea of Love in the Asylum:

The poem is both eery and depressing as the narrator discusses his tears, saying that the boards of the madhouse are worn thin by his tears, suggesting that he has spent time there and the time he spent there was depressing.

The tone of Love in the Asylum:

The first two stanzas begin by referring to the woman who is the subject of his affection as a stranger indicating that she is not her normal self and he uses a simile to compare her to birds. The end of this poem is the closest thing to a shift because it transitions from a conversation of darkness to an exploration of twisted hope with his love for the light in the crazy woman.

The last line is in angst as the poet talks of his suffering as he sees the beauty yet passion and fire, or angry commotion that creates something beautiful that is the madness in the woman that he loves.

Conclusion:

In this poem, Thomas’s writing talks about a literal girl that he might be coming to terms with his own state of mind and learning to accept who he is and “falling in love” with himself. He refers to her a being possessed which could be him not being able to be comfortable or even acknowledge the real person is inside of him. He says that without her he will fail and this is that without realizing who he was and his true inner self he would not be able to reconcile and move forward.

Contributor: Deeksha Honawar

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