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Do Not Go Gentle into that Good Night

This paper is concerned with analyzing the poem 'Do Not Go Gentle into that Good Night' by Dylan Thomas.

On October 22, 1914, Dylan Thomas was born at Swansea, Wales. His only formal education was obtained at Swansea Grammar School. From 1931 to 1932, Thomas was employed as a journalist for 'The Herald of Wales' and 'The South Wales Evening Post', writing articles on literature and the theater. He published his first volume of poetry, Eighteen Poems, in 1934. In September 1936, Thomas published another volume of verse called TwentyFive Poems. He married Caitlin Macnamara on July 12, 1937 in Penzance. New Poems was published in February 1946. Because of Thomas' radio work and poetry readings in England and the United States, he attained considerable popular appeal. His tempestuous marriage and his alcoholism influenced much of Thomas' reputation as a literary personality. It was Thomas' overindulgence in alcohol that led to his death on November 9, 1953 in New York.

Other writings by Thomas include such prose works as Portrait of the Artist as a Young Dog (1940), which is a collection of stories about his childhood and youth. The title is an indication of Thomas' admiration for James Joyce. Thomas wrote a radio play called Under Milk Woodits premiere was at the Fogg Museum in Cambridge, Massachusetts on May 3, 1953. The play was read by Thomas himself.

Thomas' poetry is notable for its lyrical qualities; its surrealism; its compact, intense metaphors; its use of Christian and Freudian imagery; and its puns and complicated patterns of sound and meaning. Thomas was influenced by Gerard Manley Hopkins (Korg 11-25). An examination of one of Thomas' poems will demonstrate his abilities as a poet.


This poem's seeming simplicity causes it to be somewhat resistant to analysis. Harvey Gross states: "I can think of no other villanelle in the language which seems so little contrived (Kershn...

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Do Not Go Gentle into that Good Night. (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 21:53, May 27, 2020, from