"The Hand That Signed the Paper" appears in Dylan Thomas's second collection, Twenty-Five Poems (1936). A meditation on political power and violence, the poem focuses on the document-signing "hand" of a very powerful leader. The leader has signed some "treaty" that has shaken the world: it has caused the destruction of a city, the division of a country, the downfall of at least one ruler, and the deaths of countless people. The speaker explores the grim irony in the fact that a simple hand, attached to a vulnerable human body, could wield such godlike power and wreak so much destruction. The poem also comments on the way powerful leaders emotionally detach themselves from the consequences of their policies.