Clown In The Moon – Dylan Thomas
My tears are like the quiet drift
Of petals from some magic rose;
And all my grief flows from the rift
Of unremembered skies and snows.
I think, that if I touched the earth,
It would crumble;
It is so sad and beautiful,
So tremulously like a dream.
The poem revolves around a clown who is stuck on the moon and feels lonely but cannot make his way home to earth, the clown is also the narrator of the poem. I think the underlying theme of the poem is “ignorance is bliss”. If all people face the reality that clowns which represent happiness can ironically be sad, it would leave the people hopeless and society would “crumble”. Just like a dream, reality can take over and destroy happiness. The deeper meaning of this poem is you can try as hard as possible to forget your past but it will always be there to haunt you and by suppressing your memories you’re only making them more relate-able to your life.
His tears are the rain that fall in a “quiet drift” and there are, “unremembered skies and snows” instead the unremembered years. Also, he says, “If I touched the earth.” This must mean on a literal level that he has not touched the earth. I suppose one can see anything one likes in the moon. The moon can never in reality touch the earth. The clown not only represents happiness, but as pointed out is a painted mask for happiness that hides a saddened heart from memories of the past. It is as if he does not want to forget them even as he lives a normal life in reality. Perhaps he is wondering if he is a fool living this way. And that all of life in reality will soon be a past sad memory. It is as if all that is real and that one is left with his memory and that we are fools to believe life lasts forever. It passes quickly like a dream and into memory.
The writer also puts a simile at the beginning of the poem where it says: “My tears are like quiet drift.” The meaning of the simile in my opinion is that the tears of the narrator are subtle and gentle. “If petals from some magic rose” this passage is referring to rareness of the character tearing up. The narrator seems depressed and isolated in this poem. Another simile used in this poem is at the end of the piece, where it says: “So tremulously like a dream.” The quote is describing the fear that the clown has and is relating this fear to a dream. It is an interesting pattern that the poem begins with a simile and ends with a simile, a parallel structure of sorts. Also, the rhyme scheme for this poem works really well, in conveying the message of the piece.