Dylan Thomas

(27 October 1914 – 9 November 1953 / Swansea / Wales)

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 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.

Submitted: Friday, January 03, 2003

Form: Villanelle

# 20 poem on top 500 Poems


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Comments about this poem (Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night by Dylan Thomas )

  • Rookie Lou Ellen (3/23/2015 7:54:00 AM)

    Whoa! It’s really powerful! (Report) Reply

  • Rookie - 0 Points Hallie Gee (2/24/2015 11:30:00 AM)

    This makes me feel empowered. (Report) Reply

  • Bronze Star - 2,002 Points Soul Watcher (1/22/2015 2:17:00 AM)

    nice poem, and the recitation is cool too. thanks (Report) Reply

  • Bronze Star - 2,647 Points Elizabeth Padillo Olesen (11/10/2014 6:26:00 AM)

    Powerful! Death or the dying of light is what humans wrestle with. (Report) Reply

  • Bronze Star - 2,647 Points Elizabeth Padillo Olesen (11/10/2014 6:26:00 AM)

    Powerful! Death or the dying of light is what humans wrestle with. (Report) Reply

  • Bronze Star - 2,647 Points Elizabeth Padillo Olesen (11/10/2014 6:25:00 AM)

    Powerful feelings evoked. Death or the dying of the night is part of human reality we all must wrestle with or accept. (Report) Reply

  • Rookie - 59 Points David Bailie (11/1/2014 4:34:00 AM)

    I submitted a reading of this poem yesterday and where before there was nothing in the video window above it now has a 'bot' reading the verse - sorry to be negative but is that not weird? (Report) Reply

  • Veteran Poet - 1,365 Points Sagnik Chakraborty (10/23/2014 4:00:00 AM)

    A beautiful poem that speaks about rebellion in the face of Death! One final flourish, one final spark before the fire is extinguished forever! (Report) Reply

  • Silver Star - 4,106 Points Terry Craddock (10/9/2014 4:42:00 PM)

    This for me is one of the most powerful poems ever written. The question of death in old age is raised, but the focus is the grief and selfishness of suffering children, facing the approaching death of a parent; in this case Dylan Thomas forced to confront the terminal death of his father. Children desire parents to live longer because of the love friendship and need, they still feel for their parents, and the desire they feel for their parents to remain in their lives. The fear and pain they will suffer with their parents' eventual death is intensified, in the title theme and lines of 'Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night'.
    Dylan is aware of the pain his father's ill health is causing, the line Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight acknowledges his father's blindness but Dylan implores his father to ignore blindness, with Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay, . Then the pitiful plea Rage, rage against the dying of the light; begs his father to fight for the last hours minutes seconds of life.
    The final stanza raises this climax of fighting death to the last agonized moment, with Curse, bless, me now with your fierce tears, I pray. Despite all the pain his father is suffering, Dylan again begs his father to defy death and accepts the curse and blessing this defiance will cost and means to him, by repeating the original theme opening lines of the poem; Do not go gentle into that good night, (death) juxtaposed again with the begging repeated plea Rage, rage against the dying of the light.
    Inevitable imminent death, will claim the ordinary lives of our parents at close of day, which Dylan proclaims in the first two wonderful stanzas with

    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.

    Dylan's father he counts among the aged Good men, (approaching) the last wave by, crying how bright (in pain)
    Their frail deeds with health and strength failing; mean we at this time face a final separation with them in life, but though they were ordinary and achieved no great fame, if we loved them intensely we must suffer the agony of knowing and watching death, consume the last embers of their lives. 'Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night' by Dylan Thomas, is a brilliant emotional poem for me and will always rank among my favourite poems. (Report) Reply

    Rookie - 0 Points Eddy Paul (2/7/2015 6:38:00 PM)

    You described the poem very well. Thank you. :)

  • Rookie - 421 Points Agboyi Felix (10/9/2014 1:33:00 PM)

    why can't i read this poem without being griefful? (Report) Reply

  • Rookie - 0 Points Joan Holden (9/28/2014 8:52:00 AM)

    Aside from the obvious element of defiance, the poet explores finality; the existentialist notion of life being a finite process. (Report) Reply

  • Rookie - 228 Points John Shea (9/15/2014 8:50:00 PM)

    I never went gently into a good night.
    This is a 10. with all my might. (Report) Reply

  • Gold Star - 28,783 Points Gajanan Mishra (9/14/2014 6:15:00 PM)

    curse, bless with tears, good one. (Report) Reply

  • Gold Star - 24,387 Points Gangadharan Nair Pulingat (7/5/2014 10:55:00 PM)

    A good and beautiful classical and very meaningful too. (Report) Reply

  • Rookie Jill Maudlin (5/4/2014 2:51:00 PM)

    This is my favorite poem if all time. I love how it tells you to fight. This poem is beautiful. (Report) Reply

  • Gold Star - 13,873 Points * Sunprincess * (4/27/2014 1:40:00 AM)

    .....an amazing write...love the rhyming in this poem... (Report) Reply

  • Rookie - 59 Points Brian Jani (4/26/2014 1:36:00 AM)

    Awesome I like this poem, check mine oit (Report) Reply

  • Veteran Poet - 1,627 Points Herbert Guitang (4/25/2014 7:41:00 AM)

    Passionate and with good intensity on this beautiful poem (Report) Reply

  • Rookie Gill Tennant (4/14/2014 5:49:00 PM)

    Andrew Hoellering, Dylan Thomas would not approve, because, although the sentiment may seem right to you, he was using the repetition of the th in father and there to bolster the repetitive hammer blows his form gives the poem, and alone does not reinforce any of the surrounding words in its sound.
    Listen, if you can to a Welsh reading of this poem, which gives the true feel of his use of language. (Report) Reply

  • Rookie Gill Tennant (4/14/2014 5:28:00 PM)

    1. I agree with Marlene. Why, oh, why did the site not have it read by someone like Cerys Matthews with a good Welsh lilt to her voice. There are enough good Welsh actors too, who would have made a good job of it.

    2, I wonder what others make of the second stanza that says both 'Though wise men at their end know dark is right' and 'they Do not go gentle into that good night' showing opposing views. (Report) Reply

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