Books: Memories & Martyrs

QUITE EARLY ONE MORNING, by Dylan Thomas (240 pp.; New Directions; $3.50), will scarcely affect posterity's view of Poet Thomas, for it is no more than a fragmentary prose footnote to his poetic genius. Composed largely of BBC talks on poetry and childhood reminiscences, the book suggests less how Dylan Thomas made a poem than how he made a living. But even as he fell back on lecturing for money to radio listeners and the matronly bands of U.S. "culture-vultures," as he called them, Poet Thomas whirled his economic crutch like a pinwheel....

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