Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night Poem by Dylan Thomas

Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night

Rating: 4.5

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 that 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.

Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night
Marcus Robbins 05 April 2012

With so many poor interpretations I thought I would add my own to the mix: Wise men know that death is a part of life, it is integral to it's operation and as such is 'right'. In life they will have sought to teach others the things that they know, but will feel empty when they have been unable to make others see what they see, when they have been unable to pass the gift of their vision onto others. Good men who have sought to make the world a better place, will be sad when they do not succeed, in a world with a closed heart. And perhaps worse, understand that no-one much noticed their efforts. Wild men who seek to capture every joy from life, realise that in the act of 'seizing the day' they were really all the time filled with the fear of it's impending loss. Grave Men, people who have been sad for their lives, realise that being happy or sad is in the mind. That it is our will that makes us happy or sad, not the external world. They will rage because they have lost so much opportunity to enjoy the world. For me this poem is a lesson, that life is struggle, even in the act of trying to savour every moment we are lost to addiction, to the desire for the next 'thing'. Do not try to teach the world, they do not want to listen. Do not try to save the world, you can only fail, do not try to live every moment like it is your last, you will swallow the joy up with fear. So what is the solution? I do not know, Buddhism(understanding that how you feel is dependant upon your perception, not on the actual physical world) ? perhaps, or perhaps there is no solution, this is what life is, it is in your nature to rage against against the dying of the light, which is not only death but every successive unfulfilled or fulfilled desire in your life.

231 38 Reply
Briony Nicholls 26 September 2015

Thank you Marcus Robbins for your exceptionally insightful interpretation of this poem. You've really nailed it as far as I'm concerned. It seems we are doomed, no matter which way we choose to live out our lives. We will all reach the same desperate destination.

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Mary McKay 26 November 2021

Although this was 2012, your interpretation is spot on! ! Thank you! ! !

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Manny Seim 05 April 2015

It would be a man to write a poem using words about not being gentle but about raging. That's what too many humin male primates do, they rage. Even in an experience with the potential for sweetness, gentleness, and xplration like a poem, humin male primates persist with raging. That must be what's happening inside the brains of most humin male primates. Now, look at the states of the planet and the world and tell me this poet should not have used better words. I am sick and tired of the male destructive infestation of everything, including language.

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Diana Suez 12 May 2015

It is not about raging at all! It is about death, at least for me, though I may be wrong; it is impossibly touching how the author tries to encourage everyone and his father especially to struggle, to resist, to protest against death (death of a body or of a soul) , he encourages us to live and live full lives. Do not go gentle is like 'do everything you can and never give it up'. That what it is about I think. And what you say about men is nothing but a foolish stereotype.

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Mania Kumari 26 June 2023


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Rose Marie Juan-austin 04 August 2021

Powerful lines woven beautifully. The ultimate stanza is so touching.

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Whatever Rocks 04 August 2021

Rock, u are pathetic

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Sylvia Frances Chan 04 August 2021

He is a poet born in Wales, but he wrote poems, Songs and stories only in the English language, never in Welsh

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Dylan Thomas

Dylan Thomas

Swansea / Wales
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