Dylan Thomas

Both Dad and Ben quote from this poem.  When Mom dies, Dad speaks the lines as if he is both admonishing her not to leave him and admonishing himself not to collapse.  Ben speaks the lines on their first night on the island.  Dad reads the lines to his students, who don’t understand.

Dylan ThomasDylan Thomas was born in Wales in 1914.  Much of his poetry draws from his experience growing up in a small town there. He was unable to serve in World War II because he was sickly, but he wrote film scripts to serve the war effort.  He was well known both for his poetry and his dramatic readings.  He also had a reputation as a drinker.  He died at age 39, some say from chronic alcohol poisoning.

Learn more about Dylan Thomas and his work at your library or at many web sites, including http://www.undermilkwood.net/ (listen to audio of Thomas reading his own work) and http://www.dylanthomas.com/.

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 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.