Laugharne Castle’s Poetry Tree inspires verses from visitors

Friday 23 August 2013

Decades after Dylan Thomas described Laugharne Castle as ‘brown as owls’ in his famous Poem in October, this ancient citadel is once more inspiring visitors to put pen to paper — and leave a lyrical ‘leaf’ that others can enjoy.

The Poetry Tree at Laugharne Castle

The Poetry Tree at Laugharne Castle

Visitors to Laugharne Castle are being encouraged to capture their impressions of the site in verse and add them to a Poetry Tree in its gardens.

Cadw staff at the castle have been collecting poems throughout summer 2013 and will continue into 2014, as part of the celebrations of the centenary of Dylan Thomas’s birth (Dylan Thomas 100).

A poem that made an impression
Visitors of all ages have been posting poems, with this work by 13-year-old Jessica Doran making a particularly strong impression on the castle’s Head Custodian.  

Tall brick walls,
Hide secrets within,
And up a staircase we begin.

We come to a room,
Echoing inside,
No cloth on the walls,
No spaces to hide!

What secrets lie here?
What have these walls seen?
What would they tell us about people who have been?

The walls haven’t said much,
As we descend,
And even if they did,
Would we know what they meant?

As people leave,
And the castle shuts down,
The walls begin talking,
About the secrets they have found.

Poem in October project
As well as the Poetry Tree project, Cadw staff at Laugharne Castle will be working with three local primary schools to develop poetry, artwork and digital media presentations about Laugharne, the sea, the surrounding landscape and Dylan Thomas — all inspired by Thomas’s Poem in October.

The works will be used in Cadw’s Festival of Poetry and Film, which will be held at the castle between 6 and 8 June 2014.

About Dylan Thomas 100
Dylan Thomas 100 is a high-profile festival to mark the centenary of Dylan Thomas's birth in 2014.

The Welsh Government is leading the coordination of activity in Wales along with its partners: the Arts Council of Wales, the British Council, Carmarthenshire County Council, Ceredigion County Council, the City and County of Swansea and Cadw. The aim of all partners is to ensure the festival delivers educational, cultural and tourism benefits before, during and after 2014.

For more information about the festival and events happening throughout Wales in 2014, go to or follow Dylan Thomas 100 on Facebook and Twitter.