Sign and Structure Convey the Themes of Dylan Thomas Vision and Prayer

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Dr.N. Sumathi


Signs and symbols signify their meanings according to culture, context and passage of time in society as well as mass societal opinion. Signs and symbols earn their unique meanings in poetry with our personal perspectives. “Carmina figurta” is a term used in criticism to mean typography arrangement to create a visual image. According to W.Y. Tindall, “two things detains us first; the shape of the stanzas and the theme”. The shape of “Vision and Prayer” as the iconic image of a basic geometric structure which in itself serves as a sign as well as a symbol pointing to a number of interrelated meanings. The idea of using typography is to enhance the meaning of a poem originated in Greek Alexandria during the third and second centuries BC. They were designed to be a part of religious art-works, including “wing, axe and alter-shaped poems”. The poems by Simias and Theocritus are collected together in the Greek Anthology. The main feature of typographical poetry according to Dylan’s “Vision and Prayer” is the typographical style which is lyrical, personal and spiritual. Semantic use of space, result of relationship between the scale and weight of the letters and words and space they occupy are connected to the spiritual content. The poet has been able to work with a great deal of freedom and individuality in word positioning and construction of letters in handling typographical poetry. The size of the letters and tension created by the space between the words intensifies the tension created in themes with its visual image. Sounds further dramatize the meaning and feeling in the poem. The whole poem has been skilfully modulated. The form of this poem has been formulated very skilfully. It has great force and brilliance. The stanzas of the first part are diamond shaped and those of the second part are shaped like an hour glass and this usual device is not arbitrary but neglect and answers the movement of the thought and emotions at each point. The title of the poem is quite

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