Interpretation of Poem “Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night” – Dylan Thomas
The speaker opens the poem with this phrase, saying, “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.” The speaker urges his father to struggle with death, which has upset the speaker for the decline of his father’s health. He believes that those who cry have not shown much brilliance in life. Hence, if they can survive longer, they would be able to achieve more success.
To show the universal relevance of his theme, the author created four different perspectives in his poem. They are the wide men who know that the cores of their lives are not knowledge and intelligence, the good men who become conscious that their good deeds won’t define their identity, the wild men who feel regretful for their shallow youth when they reach the old age, and the grave men who are exemplified in the fifth stanza “Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight/ Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay.” Men who are at the end of their lives realize that their physical disabilities can’t stop them from remaining strong or pursuing joy. Though all four men lived unalike lives, at the end of their lives, they come to the same conclusions: they should not base their identities on their youth, and they can live a wholesome life in their old age.
The poem was initially published in a literary journal in 1951, and in one of Thomas’s own volumes the next year. It is a noticeably dark poem, concerning itself with the end of life, and of the personal struggle to hang onto life for as long as possible.
«Dylan Thomas». Academy of American Poets (en inglés). «He took his family to Italy, and while in Florence
Ferris, Paul (1989). Dylan Thomas, A Biography. Nueva York: Paragon House. p. 283. ISBN 1-55778-215-6.
Dylan Thomas: Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night». BBC Wales. 6.11.2008.