Sunday, July 10, 2011

Poetry Summer Week 7: Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night


My boys enjoyed The Charge of the Light Brigade. There was fighting and dying in it, so they were quite pleased. They made me do it twice so I could get it word-perfect.

This week's poem is about fighting death, about struggling to stay in this life for as long as possible. I come from a long line of long-lived people, so I plan to hang out here for quite some time. Still, there are lots of different kinds of death. Hope can die. Resolve can die. Goodness can die. We should fight not just to stay alive, but to live as well as we can. To do the most good we can while we're here.


DO NOT GO GENTLE INTO THAT GOOD NIGHT

by Dylan Thomas

Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rage 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.
So I seem to be doing a lot of poems about death, dying, mayhem, and sorrow. I tried to think of a different poem for this week, but couldn't. I'd appreciate some suggestions for happy, insightful poems for future weeks, k? Anyone?

11 comments:

  1. They'll probably love Dorothy Parker...

    ...Why is it no one ever gave me yet
    A perfect limousine, do you suppose?
    Ah, no, it's just my luck I get
    One perfect rose.

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  2. Also, I think she wrote one about a lover who kept watch while her lover's headstone was carved, and when it was finished, she died.

    ...if you want to keep up with the death theme.

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  3. Hey everyone! Lesli Muir Lytle stopped by my blog! Yay! :)

    Thanks for the suggestion! I'm really trying to get away from the death theme, but with querying around the corner....

    That's true about roses. Every V-day, I point out to my hubby that jewelry lasts longer and is actually cheaper, but noooo.

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  4. Love this poem from "Matched".

    Nice.

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  5. Donna--LOL--I totally forgot this is in Matched. Good thing I'm memorizing it, in case the Thinkers take over. (Or am I mixing my dystopias now?)

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  6. Awesome poem. I'm no help for happy poem suggestions - I read all the sorrowful ones. ;)

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  7. Madeline--you and I should form a support group or something....

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  8. Wonderful poem. I tend to get more from the sorrow filled poems than those that are happy. :D

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  9. How about memorizing a part of the poem about one of our ancestors. "The Courtship of Miles Standish" by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. It is a long poem but doing one of the sections would be sufficient, Here is a link

    http://classiclit.about.com/library/bl-etexts/hwlongfellow/bl-hwl-miless.htm

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  10. Brenda--me, too! (Obviously.) Is there something wrong with us?

    Eric--Woah! We're descended from the subject of a famous (VERY long) poem? Cool!

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  11. Yes, we are related to John Alden and Percila Mullens of that poems fame. I can remember Grandpa's sister who lived in Delta showing the genelogical line to them (I wish I had a copy of it now though).

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