For this writing assignment, I chose to respond to the poem “Do Not Go Gentle into That Good Night” by Dylan Thomas. I had researched into the background and found out that Dylan had penned the poem to his dying father. Thomas had written this poem for his father, a formerly energetic and enthusiastic man who was now humbled and tranquilized by the aging process and the illnesses that come with it. The use of a changing tone, which begins with urgency, explanation and then pleading, evokes strong emotions in the reader.This poem appealed to me by its use of simple rhymes and very strong words to convey the urgency of complex issue. Reading it, I could not help getting lost in the world of a person experiencing the helplessness associated with aging and awareness that he or she is inching closer towards death. I was really moved by the urgency with which Dylan wanted his father to fight imminent death and how he managed to express his emotions in six stanzas, each having a specific purpose.The poem has a rhyme scheme alternating between “night” and “day”.
All through, the poet uses a variety of literary devices and figurative language to get his message through. “Night” is used to symbolize death while “day” represents the subject’s healthy days. The usage of the term “good night”, which is a simile for pursuing honorable death, implies that weakness and sickness is not something we should resign to, but fight off bravely. This is evident from the second line in the first stanza: “Old age should burn and rave at the close of day; Rage, rage against the dying of that light”.I established a connection with Dylan Thomas’s poem since it offers invaluable advice not just to a person about to die, but to every person who is alive today.
The first line in the first stanza is a command: “Do not go gentle into that good night.” I interpreted this as a call for people not to give up easily when faced with adversity. The same applies with line three in the first stanza: “Rage, rage against the dying of the light”. This could mean that an individual must fight against adversity with the strongest of wills.The poem very personal as Thomas Dylan tells his father to “curse, bless me now with your fierce tears, I pray” which translates to calling on him to resurrect his feelings and emotions while he can if he has to curse his son in the process. This is a passionate appeal to the reader to live to the fullest and not to resign to fate without putting up a spirited fight.
The poet did not want his father to just fade into death. This message is applicable in all spheres of life and encourages people not to give up easily: struggle is an essential part of life and accomplishment and should characterize the efforts we put in so as to live full lives.Works citedThomas, Dylan. “Do Not Go Gentle into That Good Night.” In Moliken, Paul D. (Editor).Poetry.
Clayton: Prestwick House Inc., 2006.