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Unfortunately, he indulged in it recklessly, drinking heavily, and died a year after the poem was published, in 1952.“Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night” is a villanelle, a form of poetry popularized mainly in France in the sixteenth century.: Good men has the force of wise men in the previous stanza.
Even at the end of life, the poem advises, one should attempt to "burn" with life, to "rage against the dying of the light.": go, good (first stanza); though, their (second stanza); deeds, danced (third stanza) sang, sun (fourth stanza); learn, late (fourth stanza); see, sight (fifth stanza); blinding, blind, blaze (fifth stanza).
Note: Go and gentle do not alliterate; they have different consonant sounds.forked no lightning: failed to command attention; failed to express a startling or revolutionary concept.
The unstressed syllables are in blue; the stressed are in red capitals.
Over each pair of syllables is a number representing the foot. Dylan Thomas is saying in his own way what one of Shakespeare's characters says in Henry VI Part I : "Fight till the last gasp" (1.3.127).
Dylan Thomas (1914-1953) was born in Swansea, Wales.
There, he attended a school where his father taught English.
In meteorology, "forked lightning" describes a lightning strike that divides into two or more branches resembling the roots of a plant—or, metaphorically, a fork.
A common cause of the phenomenon is a second bolt that follows the path of the first bolt, then diverts away from it.
Poems of Dylan Thomas, Copyright 1952, 1953 by Dylan Thomas.
Copyright 1937, 1945, 1955, 1962, 1966, 1967 by the Trustees for the Copyrights of Dylan Thomas.