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Do Not Go Gentle into That Good Night

By Dylan Thomas

Do Not Go Gentle into That Good NightDylan Marlais Thomas was born in Swansea, Wales on October 27, 1914 and died in the United States while on a tour on November 9, 1953.

He started writing poetry when he was 12 years old and quickly gained fame in the literary circles. Even though he was often described as a classic Welsh writer, Dylan Thomas never actually learned the Welsh language.

He made little money from his poetry during his lifetime and it wasn't until after he died that his work began to be appreciated. It was his use of metaphor, meter, and a comic wit that gave his poetry distinction and acclaim.

Do Not Go Gentle into that Good Night by Dylan Thomas, is a villanelle. A villanelle is a poetic form that entered English-language poetry in the 1800s imitating the French poetic styles. Written for Dylan's dying father, it is one of his finest and best-known poems.

For most of his life, Dylan Thomas' father had been a strong, vigorous man. When he started to become blind and weak in his eighties, Dylan had a hard time coming to terms with the fact that his father was becoming soft and gentle. In this poem, he encourages his father to continue being the fierce man he had once been. He doesn't want him to accept death easily but tries to convince him to fight on and rail against it.

Dylan Thomas was known to suffer from depression and was afraid of losing inspiration. He once said of his work, "My poetry is the record of my individual struggle from darkness toward some measure of light."

Do Not Go Gentle into That Good Night

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 grieve 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, less, me now with your fierce tears, I pray.
Do not go gentle into that good night.
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.


"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." Dylan Thomas

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