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Nature and Dylan Thomas

Owen Barfield, friend of C. S. Lewis and a philosopher in his own right, was of the view that human consciousness had evolved over time so that instead of participating in an innocent and unknowing way in the natural world around it, we now stand detached and aloof from what we now call ‘objective reality’. We do not have to accept the entirety of this theory to see that, if it is in any way true, it would presuppose at some point an attempt through art to regain what had been lost - to seek out, in other words, a connection to Nature in an effort to reverse or at least slow the movement away from it.

We see this attempt in the last two centuries in particular, firstly in what has been called the Romantic Movement, especially in poetry, at the end of the Eighteenth and beginning of the Nineteenth Centuries, and secondly in the Twentieth Century in the work of poets like Dylan Thomas.

Thomas most certainly had a connection to nature or strived to have such a connection. He was often responding to the romantic poetry of the past and its obsession with n