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Wednesday

D is for Do Not Go Gentle

Welsh poet Dylan Thomas (1914-1953) crafted this famous villanelle for his own Army veteran father, as the man died. The lines were published in 1951 in “Botteghe Oscure,” a literary journal.

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 that 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.
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3 comments:

  1. No matter how many times I read those lines, they touch me. :-D

    ReplyDelete
  2. Lovely! Thank you for sharing, and thanks for the links on my blog comments!

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  3. I confess that while I have heard reference to these lines, I never read them before. Also, I confess that I don't get it:
    Is the son bitter and anxious that his father is not resisting death, as he, the younger man would?

    Or is he encouraging the dad to embrace with boldness whatever is to follow?

    Or even to repent of his not-so-gentle approach to life, as in his regrettable hindrance of the sun's advance? (Or the son's advance?)

    What is your understanding Linda, you wizard of all things literary?

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