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interstellar

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 the 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.

Dylan Thomas, 1914 – 1953

This for me is one of the most powerful poems ever written.

The question of death in old age is raised here, but the focus is the grief of children, facing the approaching death of a parent; in this case Dylan Thomas is forced to confront the death of his father.

Children desire parents to live longer because of the love, friendship and need, they still feel for their parents, and the desire they feel for their parents to remain in their lives.

The fear and pain they will suffer with their parents eventual death is intensified, in the title itself ‘Do not go gentle into that Good Night’.

Dylan is aware of the pain his father’s ill health is causing, the line, ‘Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight’ acknowledges his father’s blindness but Dylan implores his father to ignore blindness, with the lines, ‘Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay,’.

Then in the pitiful plea, ‘Rage, rage against the dying of the light;’ he begs his father to fight till the last hours, minutes, seconds of life.

The final stanza raises this climax of fighting death till the last agonised moment, with Curse, bless, me now with your fierce tears, I pray.

Despite all the pain his father is suffering, Dylan again begs his father to defy death and accepts the curse and blessing this defiance will cost and means to him, by repeating the original theme opening lines of the poem; Do not go gentle into that good night, (death) juxtaposed again with the begging repeated plea Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Inevitable imminent death, will claim the ordinary lives of our parents at close of day, which Dylan proclaims in the first two wonderful stanzas with,


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.

Dylan’s father he counts among the aged Good men, approaching the last wave, by crying how bright their frail deeds with health and strength failing; mean to us at this time in the final separation with them in this lifetime.

Though they were ordinary and achieved no great fame, as we loved them intensely we must suffer the agony of knowing and watching death, consume the last embers of their lives.

This poem was featured prominently in the sci-fi movie Interstellar, written by Jonathan and Christopher Nolan. Appropriately, the movie is about mankind’s struggle to overcome imminent extinction.

‘Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night’ by Dylan Thomas, is a brilliant emotional poem for me. It is like my life experience found it’s way to words that aptly describes my pain. It will always rank among my favourite poems.

Have a wonderful evening!


Aratidgr8 🙂