“It was my thirtieth year to heaven…In the still sleeping town and set forth” Explain

It was my thirtieth year to heaven
Woke to my hearing from harbour and neighbour wood
And the mussel pooled and the heron
Priested shore
The morning beckon
With water praying and call of seagull and rook
And the knock of sailing boats on the net webbed wall
Myself to set foot
That second
In the still sleeping town and set forth. (Line 1-10)

This is the first stanza of Dylan Thomas’s poem Poem in October, which is related to his thirtieth birthday. The poet describes here the lovely natural environment in which he sets in the very early morning when the whole town is under the spell of deep sleep.

It is the poet’s thirtieth birthday. It records his advancement to heaven by one day more. This is quite an early morning. The town is yet asleep. But the poet, wakened by the din and bustle of the harbour and the chirping of the birds from the nearby wood, sets out all by himself. He comes out, moves forward, and finds all around the holiness of the natural world. The mussels, a kind of fish with a black shell, and the herons on the sea-shore seem to be all in a holy mood. Even the waves of the ocean seem to rise high as if to adore and worship the Creator. The seagulls and the rooks flying over the sea and the boats on the ocean knocking at the sea-shore seem to act in spontaneity. The poet alone sets out, as the inhabitants of the town are all asleep.

The stanza is to be complimented for the quiet scenic beauty of nature it presents. The lyricism is strongly patent in the stanza in the poet’s unequivocal declaration- ‘It was my thirtieth year to heaven.’ The holy implication of the posture of the heron on the shore and of the high waves of the ocean are well-conceived by him.

Also read; Explain the last stanza of the poem Dover Beach by Matthew Arnold