Do Not Go Gentle into That Good Night by Dylan Thomas
Do Not Go Gentle into That Good Night” by Dylan Thomas BY Lolo-H poem “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, Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight, And learn, too late, they grieved it on its way,
Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay, And you, my father, there on that sad height, Curse, bless, me now with your fierce tears, I pray.
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Dylan Thomas was a Welsh poet who died tragically young but left a powerful legacy of work. This poem, written to Thomas’s dying father, has a strict structure, but an unconventional message. Thomas encourages his father to rebel and struggle against death, what he calls the “dying of the light. ” Although written for his father, Dylan Thomas himself ironically died the year after his father.
Poetry-poem 12. 1 2010: This lesson plan is the property of the Mensa Education ; Research Foundation, www. mensafoundation. org. It is provided as a complimentary service to the public. Reproduction and distribution without modification are allowed. Images, links and linked content referenced herein are the property of the originating entities. Taking it apart Thomas sees lite as a day – death is the closing ot that day, and the dying of the light is the sunset and coming night. Notice the pairing of lines 1 ; 3. Gentle matches rage; good with dying; and night with light.
This is a mythological allusion to the gods who could throw lightning bolts and have the skies tremble at the sound of their voice. In this stanza, Thomas says that even though men accept that they are mortal and should die (“Death is right”), he still encourages a rebellion against it. Stanza 2 talks about how wise men approach death. This stanza is about how “good” men do. They see the things they did in life reflect like light off of a bay. Rather than being useless, it is the old, near dead, “grave” men who can really see. “Gay’ here means “happy’ or “carefree. “
Notice the oxymorons here: “blinding sight” and “blind eyes. ” There is also a simile comparing eyes that “blaze like meteors. ” Curse, bless, me now witn your tierce tears, I pray. From the general men discussed in the previous stanzas, Thomas narrows to his father in this stanza, pleading with him to fight against death, pleading with him to still be “fierce. ” The lines that have been separated throughout the poem come together in the last couplet to reinforce the theme of the poem. Poetry-poem 12. 2 Memorizing it The form of this poem is called a villanelle. It has only two end rhyme sounds.
The irst and third lines of the stanzas rhyme, and the second line rhymes with all other second lines. A villanelle ends with a rhyming couplet, and has nineteen lines – divided into five tercets and one quatrain at the end. The strict villanelle structure and rhyme scheme make this poem particularly easy to memorize, particularly since the last line of the tercets are repetitive: you get five lines memorized for the price of two! You actually get more than that because the line “Do not go gentle into that good night” appears in the poem four times. Using a highlighter or colored pencil, underline the lines that are repeated.