Tuesday Poem-Do not go gentle into that good night by Dylan Thomas

 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.


One can tell that the author of this poem reads aloud. One doesn’t have to understand the words to enjoy the rhythm. There are a number of recordings of this poem on you tube some of which say they are Dylan reading his own poetry but the voice sounds to old and too English for a Welshman who dies at 49.  What do you think? View it here. I think it a beautiful reading of what many describe as a sad poem but somehow I think it shows spirit and encourages a live life while you have it attitude!

If you want to learn more about Dylan Thomas you can listen to

BBC Radio 4 – Great Lives, Series 27, Dylan Thomas

and even hear Richard Burton reading from Dylan’s work ‘Under Milk Wood.’  I highly recommend this programme…had to listen to it all.

Or go to Wikipedia here.

Thanks to Project Gutenberg Australia for the words of the poem.

Meanwhile have a great week and if you haven’t been there already visit the Tuesday Poem Hub Page where Robert Sullivan introduces us to a talented new Pacific Poet.

PS Dylan Thomas had elocution lessons when young and his voice was indeed ‘plummy.’ Still not convinced it’s him reading on you tube though …sounds too old.

2 thoughts on “Tuesday Poem-Do not go gentle into that good night by Dylan Thomas”

  1. Dear Helen,

    I’m trying to get permission to use one or more illustrations by Basil T.Blackwood for the Matilda poem to post on Youtube, read by my English friend Jonathan Hinden, who reads beautifully. I’m sure that Matilda is in the Public Domain but how do I get permission from B.T.B. or his estate? I love the disclaimer you posted by H. B. saying that of course these stories aren’t true. If I have your proper email address, I’ll send you Jonathan reading Matilda and Fern Hill.

    Also did you ever manage to get permission to use any illustrations by E. L. Shepard for any Milne poems? I would love to post illustrations for “Teddy Bear” and “The Knight Whose Armour Didn’t Squeak.”

    Keep up the good work!

    Liz Peterson

    1. Hello Liz, sounds like you are doing some great things with these lovely old tales. I can’t comment on E.L.Shepard but in regard to B.T.B. I would search for the latest reprint of Hilaire Beloc and contact the publisher. A lot depends on whether you are making money out of your projects. If you search Hilaire Beloc you will get some information about Public Domain usage in regard to B.T.B.
      all the best Helen

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