Dylan Thomas“Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night”Mrs. SkotnickiApril 4, 2013
Biography"He seems to have reserved all of hisfaculties for his poetry and to haveconducted his life as an afterthought.”-Jacob Korg
The Early Years• Born April 27, 1914• Swansea, Wales, UK• Father taught highschool English• Neglected all studiesbut English• Left school at 16 afterdismal examinationresults (Korg 1)http://images.marinas.com/med_res_id/82038
Poetry Notebooks• Thomas wrote drafts ofmany of his most famouspoems when he was ayoung adult, betweenages 15-19.• Notebooks are nowhoused in the PoetryCollection at LockwoodLibrary (Korg 2) .http://www.facilities-buffalo.org/files/FPD/building%20photos/north/lockwd/fpdlockwd.jpg
The Young Poet• Described by hiscontemporaries as "slight,curly-haired, shyprovincial, an excellenttapside mimic and wit,[Thomas] was often seenin pubs working overexercise books of hispoems, with a glass ofbeer beside him" (Korg 4).http://www.internal.org/pictures/dt.gif
Early Genius• Thomas’s later poems were more polished andcomplex, and "compassionate," but "can only beregarded as extensions of the highly originalpoetic idiom he fashioned when, as a school-boyand as a loose-ends juvenile reporter, heneglected his duties in order to twist his privatediscoveries of the paradoxes of existence intoarcane, eccentric, and highly organized verse.”(Korg 3)
Caitlin McNamara• Met in London pub in1936• Married, penniless, in1937• The poet struggledfinancially for the rest ofhis life• Dependent upon friendsand family for support(Korg 7)http://ewelsh.files.wordpress.com/2013/02/dylan-thomas.jpg
BBC Radio• Began radio work forBritish BroadcastingCorporation (BBC) in 1937• Critics debate the effectthe job had on poetrythough some of his bestwork was publishedduring this period (Korg10)http://www.bbc.co.uk/wales/arts/sites/dylan-thomas/images/dylan-thomas-bbc_01_446.jpg
The Boat House• Laugharne, Wales• First visited in 1937• Returned between workfor BBC in London• Eventually purchased forDylan and Caitlin by hisbenefactor, MargaretTaylor in 1949 (Korg 8-11)http://www.bbc.co.uk/wales/arts/sites/dylan-thomas/images/laugharne_03_446.jpg
Thomas’s Studyhttp://www.infobritain.co.uk/Study_Shed_Laugharne.jpghttp://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/5/56/Dylan_Thomas%27s_study_Laugharne.jpgEach poem is the result of months and even years of work. For example, Thomascomposed over 200 drafts of the poem "Fern Hill" (Korg 6).
Systematic Verse• At first glance Thomass poems areincomprehensible, "But it has since become clearthat each of his poems is an exhaustivelycalculated construction" (Korg 6).• Thomas would begin construction of a poem witha phrase he found suggestive, "and then added toit through links of sound, imagery, andassociation" (Korg 6).• Thomas knew from the outset the place the"suggestive phrase" would occupy in the finishedpoem (Korg 6).
Poem Analysis“Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night”
“Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night”• Extended metaphor: Do not go gentle intothat good night• Diction that establishes and reinforceslight/dark imagery• Rhyme scheme and form (villanelle) thatkeeps emotion tightly in check• Sound to sense: rhyme scheme reinforcesmeaning and theme
Works Cited• Korg, Jacob. Dylan Thomas, Updated ed. NewYork: Twayne Publishers, 1992. TwaynesEnglish Authors Series 20. Gale VirtualReference Library. Web. 4 Apr. 2013.• Thomas, Dylan. The Collected Poems of DylanThomas. New York: New Directions, 1957.Print.