Tag: dylan thomas

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Dylan Thomas, author of "Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night", used this shed as a writing room.

Today’s Anthem: Dylan Thomas’s “Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night”

Dylan Thomas’s poem to a dying father could be well to be heard by the world today. The world may not be gentle and plenty of people are not having a good night, yet there is a discerned darkness over the land. The poet calls out for action and light. It is a spiritual matter.

In a previous essay on this site, I discussed how a namesake of Thomas, Bob Dylan, wrote “Blowing in the Wind” which became a national battle cry. Dylan Thomas’s “Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night” could have similar possibilities if the poet hadn’t died ¾ of a century ago. Without the marketing allure, the poem could most likely not be resurrected on a grand scale.

It could just be the plea to a dying man, or else a plea to all generations of today’s world. We’re talking fire here. And a good fire. Old age could be synonymous with old patterns in politics which perpetuate tired wars. Admittedly, wars are not gentle to most ways of thinking, but they are predictable and go down trodden paths. I don’t believe Dylan Thomas is telling us to take up arms; it is a metamorphosis of the soul he’s talking about. Traditionally gun battles are not of the soul. The fight should be within. Battles of the soul are not always gentle. Even Jesus overturned the money tables in the temple. […]

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A stylized photo of Dylan Thomas, author of Fern Hill and Dawn Raid

Analysis: “Fern Hill”, “Dawn Raid” by Dylan Thomas

Dylan Thomas might not be a great poet, but he’s a good one, and definitely one of the most famous. He is also a very compelling orator of poetry, as he possessed a marvelous talent for emotive delivery. Before he withered from addiction, he was famed for his speaking tours during which he recited his own poems and those of others – many of which can be found online today. They are wonderful recordings and I encourage the reader to check them out, for they (in addition to being pleasurable listens) clue one into the sort of poet he was/is, and how that particular style reaps certain benefits and downfalls.

Thomas had a number of good/excellent poems, although the one that immediately comes to mind likely isn’t one of them (rage against it all you want, fanboys/girls). I’d argue some of his best are: “Among Those Killed In The Dawn Raid Was A Man Aged A Hundred…”, “The Refusal to Mourn the Death, by Fire, of a Child in London” “Deaths & Entrances,” “Love In The Asylum,” and perhaps a few others. His longer poems aren’t terrible, either – just way too long.

Take, for example, “Fern Hill.” It’s another good Thomas poem, and is, along with “Dawn Raid”, one of my favorites, but the prolixity drags its potential down. This is one of the previously mentioned downfalls of his verbose, nigh-bardic style, as it tends to be self-indulgent, and repetitive simply for the sake of rhythm and music. It makes for an entertaining recitation, but on the page? And yet, this is something which must be considered in any analysis of Dylan Thomas’s poetry. […]