Poetry Sunday: Do not go gentle into that good night by Dylan Thomas

This is likely Dylan Thomas's most famous poem. It's the one that most people could probably name as a Thomas poem. It was dedicated to the poet's father, but in a larger context, it is addressed to all who face death. In other words, all of us. 

Do not go gentle into that good night

by Dylan Thomas

Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Though wise men at their end know dark is right,
Because their words had forked no lightning they
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright
Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight,
And learn, too late, they grieved it on its way,
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight
Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

And you, my father, there on the sad height,
Curse, bless, me now with your fierce tears, I pray.
Do not go gentle into that good night.
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Comments

  1. As you say, THE poem associated with Dylan Thomas. It is no less evocative now than when he wrote it.

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    1. It does hold up well through time, as all great poetry does.

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  2. My favorite is probably In My Craft and Sullen Art. Every Christmas we take turns reading A Child's Christmas in Wales. We would pass the little book back and forth between us and our daughters. Then we continued with the grands reading their pages as well. Dylan Thomas remains one of my favorite poets, and I never get tired of reading him, always impressed anew at the beauty of his words.

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    1. I haven't read "A Child's Christmas in Wales" in many years. You've reminded me of its pleasures. Time to bring it out once again.

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  3. Another one of the few poems that really move me. It's an emotional experience to read it.

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    1. It is a poem that cannot fail to move anyone who has ever faced death or had a loved one who did. And that is most of us, I think.

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  4. i think he was mad about something... (lol)

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    1. He was mad at death and wanted us to see it as the enemy we must fight against.

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  5. I like this poem. I know death will come for all of us, but dang it, I'm gonna fight it with everything I've got!

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    1. I think that is the reaction most of us have and it's certainly one Dylan Thomas would approve of.

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  6. I know nothing about poetry and am completely dense about it...but I have always loved this one since the very first time I read it.

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    1. It's a very affecting sentiment even for people who are not necessarily poetry fans.

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