My Buddy Dylan…

I have a poetry presentation I have to do tonight in my English class. Not a reading, but a critical analysis of a poem from our book. So, for 5 minutes I get to stand in front of a classroom filled with people who literally younger than half my age (there are only 5 of us in the class over the age of 35, everyone else is 20 and under with the majority of them being dual enrolled high school students), and explain the breakdown of a poem.

I was going to do Robert Frost and his “The Road Not Taken” (a highly misquoted and oft not understood poem), but I have already done that one this year for my American Literature class. Now, I love Frost, he is one of my top 5 favorites, and that particular poem ranks up there in my top 10. But I am a glutton for punishment, so I chose to pick someone else. So, flipping open my book, I started skimming through the pages of poets, looking at Tennyson (another favorite), Whitman, Keats, Brown, Cummings, Yeats…

And then my eyes were treated to something akin to Jason finding the fleece. A bright glow in the midst of the book.


Dylan Thomas to be exact.

And not just any Dylan Thomas poem, but what is quite honestly one of my absolute favorite poems of all time…

“Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night”.

I could almost feel my heart beat a bit faster. This was it. This was the poem. This was the one I wanted to present.

I have loved this poem for a long time. I even have a copy of it taped to my desk. It’s raw. It’s powerful. It’s Thomas at his best. So, for the last few days I have been piecing together this presentation, digging into the life of Thomas, and finding out things about him that I never knew. Some insightful, some ironic. But anyway, I’m finally done. Presentation locked down. And now I just get to wait.

But, because you have hung in with me through this.. let me at least entertain you with the poem I am speaking of.. so.. without further ado… I present…

Do not go gentle into that good night

Dylan Thomas, 19141953

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.

Awesome, right??

7 thoughts on “My Buddy Dylan…

  1. I wrote a villanelle (the type of poem that is) once for a composition class. It was hard because it’s such a structured poem! But once you’ve accomplished it, there’s a sense of satisfaction that’s so nice. I wonder if I still have that silly thing around here somewhere…?

    I’m a huge fan of Robert Frost too, and this one is also one of my favorites.

    When I got my degree a few years back, I was usually the only person my age in the class… literally. I mean, many times my instructors were younger than me, not always… but often. I got my degree at just after I turned 45… But I had fun, and that’s what counts, right?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I”m working at finishing my AA at the moment, but ultimately headed toward my Master’s degree in some form of English. Maybe one day add the title.. Professor. That would be entertaining to say the least.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I had some time on my hands (it’s a long story) so I figured “why not?” I considered my time in college a very long, expensive vacation. Ha! I probably won’t do anything with my MA, but it was fun while it lasted and I needed the time away from the really real world. ^_^

        Liked by 1 person

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