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Dylan Thomas was born in Swansea, Wales on October 27, 1914. Thomas pursued a writing career directly after grammar school. He published his first collection, Eighteen Poems (1934) at age twenty. His lack of a university degree deprived him of many opportunities to earn a living as a writer in England. Consequently, his early life was darkened with poverty caused by his free spending and heavy drinking. Thomas called his poetry a "record of [his] struggle from darkness towards some measure of light." The Map of Love appeared in 1939 and Deaths and Entrances in 1946. Under Milk Wood (1953) is filled with his private, onomatopoetic language. Thomas died in a New York hospital on November 9, 1953 after suffering from alcoholism and lung ailments. Also in 1953, he noted in his Collected Poems: "These poems, with all their crudities, doubts and confusions are written for the love of man and in Praise of God, and I'd be a damn fool if they weren't." Information provided by