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(3) Base Camp

Dylan Thomas likes to fool around with his syntax and extend his metaphors, but the villanelle form creates constant repetition of his message and helps us follow along. One read-through of the poem is probably enough for most of us to get his basic message – after all, he repeats it no fewer than four times – and you can pay attention to the details of his imagery the second time through. (Yes, you need to read poems more than once to really "get" them, but at least this one is only nineteen lines long!)

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