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Thomas, Dylan - The Hand That Signed the Paper

Identifier

012588

Type of spiritual experience

Background

17th August 1933

A description of the experience

Richard Burton reads 'The Hand that signed the Paper', a poem by Dylan Thomas

The hand that signed the paper felled a city;
Five sovereign fingers taxed the breath,
Doubled the globe of dead and halved a country;
These five kings did a king to death.

The mighty hand leads to a sloping shoulder,
The finger joints are cramped with chalk;
A goose's quill has put an end to murder
That put an end to talk.

The hand that signed the treaty bred a fever,
And famine grew, and locusts came;
Great is the hand that holds dominion over
Man by a scribbled name.

The five kings count the dead but do not soften
The crusted wound nor pat the brow;
A hand rules pity as a hand rules heaven;
Hands have no tears to flow.

The source of the experience

Thomas, Dylan

Concepts and Symbols used in the text or image

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