Dylan Thomas

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

Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night - Poem 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.

Form: Villanelle

Comments about Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night by Dylan Thomas

  • Rookie - 0 Points Cam Seymour (10/3/2015 6:56:00 AM)

    Molly Dorhn, this poem is not 'about' anything. That is up to each reader. For me, it is about the value of life, each and every life. No matter who you are or what you choose to do with it, life is the ultimate treasure - a true gift. But specifically, as is revealed in the final stanza, the speaker is trying to inspire his father to fight for life, to at least show that he wants to hold on to life - his dearest possession. It seems to be spoken by a son for whom his father's passing is a very painful reality to be faced with. Despite the pain it will cause him to witness his father fighting for life (the curse) , the son needs to see that struggle, for it proves to him that his father, like the everyone, is subjected to death, and resisted it to the end - fought it off to grasp every possible minute in which to be with his son (hence the fight, or fierce tears being, simultaneously, a blessing for the son) . But that's just my reading. (Report) Reply

    Rookie - 0 Points Tom Hinton (10/9/2015 2:56:00 PM)

    I can't help feeling that the poet is reflecting on his own mortality. We transfer our own emotions onto others. This was written as Thomas discovered that his father was losing his sight. Realising that he had so much to say and achieve in life himself and seeing a father he loved in the last stages of life, fear for his own mortality. We seldom have just one emotion or feeling, and I have no doubt he loved his father.

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  • Rookie - 161 Points Molly Dorhn (10/2/2015 2:48:00 PM)

    This poem is about standing up for yourself. It's about doing your own thing, and not following everyone else. Dylan Thomas is encouraging us all to be unique, and take a stand. (Report) Reply

  • Rookie - 12 Points Harsh Singh (9/24/2015 11:53:00 PM)

    This poem has a rhythm that no other has. It's words are so brilliant that as one proceeds, they start taking over him. This spell confounds my brain and I start flowing with the poem. (Report) Reply

  • Veteran Poet - 1,566 Points Ronell Warren Alman (9/10/2015 6:40:00 PM)

    One of my all time favorite poems here. Love Dylan Thomas. (Report) Reply

  • Gold Star - 36,621 Points * Sunprincess * (8/29/2015 1:50:00 PM)

    .........a beautiful literary piece....always has been one of my favorite poems...love this ★ (Report) Reply

  • Rookie - 364 Points Nanthinii Mohan (8/15/2015 3:51:00 PM)

    "Do not go gentle into that good night.  Rage, rage against the dying of the light." Great lines that preaches not to yield at any sort of hardest times... love it.. (Report) Reply

  • Rookie Ashlee Smith (8/12/2015 6:43:00 PM)

    My favorite poem! (Report) Reply

  • Freshman - 638 Points Alpeshkumar Natubhai Makwana (8/6/2015 6:06:00 AM)

    positive as well showing the typical human nature to see difficulty. (Report) Reply

  • Veteran Poet - 1,497 Points Dedan Onyango (7/15/2015 10:05:00 AM)

    Do not allow life inadequacies to shake you around. (Report) Reply

  • Rookie - 0 Points Len Hummel (6/25/2015 9:52:00 AM)

    Probably the greatest poem of affirmation & courage in the face of troubling Life & Mortality. It says so much in so little that it always bears reading 2 or 3 times at a sitting, ... or standing. (Report) Reply

  • Gold Star - 60,200 Points Frank James Ryan Jr...fjr (6/17/2015 3:23:00 AM)

    IMO, one of literatures finest works....Most definitely in my own personal Top 10 all-time literary works (Report) Reply

  • Gold Star - 22,014 Points Melvina Germain (6/12/2015 8:16:00 PM)

    A gentle surge of somber beauty promoting solace and serenity..... (Report) Reply

  • Rookie Christine Stott (5/22/2015 5:34:00 PM)

    Me encanta (Report) Reply

  • Veteran Poet - 1,776 Points Naida Nepascua Supnet (5/22/2015 11:12:00 AM)

    What I understood is that, do not give in right away to dying
    Rage against it, resist it, do not give it an easy battle
    Ahh a lot of interpretations- and this is what makes the author good. (smiles) . (Report) Reply

  • Veteran Poet - 1,627 Points Panmelys Panmelys (4/30/2015 1:24:00 PM)

    With Fern Hill and In my Craft or Sullen Art, it is another of his greatest poems He liked the villanel and i wish he hadl iived longer to put music into his Under Milkwood. Along with Walt Whitman, his work to me is outstanding, original and makes death so very much a part of the lifeforce. I think he's a poet who will outlast many, as will Walt Whitman. Panmelys (Report) Reply

  • Rookie - 0 Points Eric Epperson (4/25/2015 12:44:00 AM)

    I don't think he cared much about his own life expiring. I believe he loved his father passionately, and was letting him know how much he hated to see him go. (Report) Reply

  • Rookie - 0 Points Marcus Brine (4/21/2015 4:59:00 PM)

    It was once said (with wonderfully simple insight) that it is far better to let people wonder if you are an idiot, than it is to open your mouth and remove all doubt, please pardon my paraphrasing. Perhaps this is something Mr./Ms. Semi might consider in the future... or if you are insistent on removing doubt, run a simple spell check. As an aside, I find it ironic, to say the least, that Thomas would write so vehemently about raging against death, when he was so insistent about hastening his own..... (Report) Reply

  • Rookie Garret Fernandez (4/16/2015 10:59:00 AM)

    @manny seim, not only is your irritating ignorance evident in your inability to spell the word "human" (?), but also in that your argument is bigoted and involves a stereotypical generalization which is even hyperbolic in nature, but beyond that you managed to entirely missed the point of the poem (Report) Reply

  • Rookie - 0 Points Manny Seim (4/5/2015 1:07:00 AM)

    It would be a man to write a poem using words about not being gentle but about raging. That's what too many humin male primates do, they rage. Even in an experience with the potential for sweetness, gentleness, and xplration like a poem, humin male primates persist with raging. That must be what's happening inside the brains of most humin male primates. Now, look at the states of the planet and the world and tell me this poet should not have used better words. I am sick and tired of the male destructive infestation of everything, including language. (Report) Reply

    Rookie - 0 Points Debo Baughman (11/3/2015 12:54:00 PM)

    It is about passion. About having loved so much, questioned so much, answered so much and the realization that life has still even at ones end, has so much more to answer and to question and to be passionate about. Rage rage against the dying of the light... While I see your point, this is not a male trait but one of a being who sees the passion and wants to se a fight in the continuation of it... To see a loved one not just giving up but oushing beyond as he leaves this world with passion yet to share.

    Rookie - 0 Points Diana Suez (5/12/2015 10:06:00 AM)

    It is not about raging at all! It is about death, at least for me, though I may be wrong; it is impossibly touching how the author tries to encourage everyone and his father especially to struggle, to resist, to protest against death (death of a body or of a soul) , he encourages us to live and live full lives. Do not go gentle is like 'do everything you can and never give it up'. That what it is about I think. And what you say about men is nothing but a foolish stereotype.

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

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

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What do you think this poem is about?

Read poems about / on: father, sad, light, green, night, dark, death, sun, dance

Poem Submitted: Friday, January 3, 2003

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