“Rage, Rage Against the Dying of the Light”

I love poetry.

Poets grant to all of us a rare glimpse into words and word images that provoke an echo or perhaps a shared understanding or maybe an epiphany. To read a poem is to become part of it. To immerse oneself in that poem is to be transformed. To be transformed is to take a step closer to enlightenment.

Or maybe just a deeper understanding of oneself.

Poets tear open the veil between what we show the world and what we hide.

It is this truth, the truth we bury deep inside of us, that will set us free?

Free from what?

This truth will set us free from those chains or weights holding us back from experiencing the full spectrum of emotions, the full breadth of who we are, as we face adversity.

Some say that “Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night” by the Welsh poet, Dylan Thomas (October 27, 1914-November 8, 1953), is about the tenacity of the human spirit. Others say that the poem is an example of the breaking open of possibility, or perhaps that death is not welcome. Or maybe a referendum on how the poet felt about the loss of his father.

I choose to think that Thomas is focused on using each bit of time left, maximizing the expertise that comes with experience and old age, and not simply laying down to the inevitable. I find this thought process to be especially helpful in dealing with the metastatic cancer experience in that while we know it is terminal, we’re #NotDeadYet.

Do not go gentle into that good night

Rage, rage against the dying of the light

Dylan Thomas

In this rare recording, Thomas himself brings his masterpiece to life …

And so I invite each of you to not go gentle into the night, but to rage against the dying of the light, not that anger or rage is necessary, but the striving. To make the time we each have left on this earth matter requires a focus, an intensity, an energy, and some large amount of grit. At some point, acceptance will be required, when there is no more time left.

But for now, I will continue to rage against the dying of the light.

23 thoughts on ““Rage, Rage Against the Dying of the Light”

  1. Thanks for sharing. I have really loved this poem ever since I first came across it in high school. At one point I heard a fantastic reading by the poet. I’m not sure whether it’s the same, but I heartily recommend listening to it! He was quite a reader too! By contrast, I heard a recording of Robert Frost, whose poems I also love, reading his poems and was rather disappointed. But you won’t be with Dylan Thomas.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. As a poet I read so much poetry – its part of the work that goes into the art. Some favorites are ee cummings, Emily Dickinson, Mary Oliver, Auden, Ezra Pound, Maya Angelou, Elizabeth Bishop, but this, this poem is what I’d say if someone asked me to reflect upon my life:
    Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
    And sorry I could not travel both
    And be one traveler, long I stood
    And looked down one as far as I could
    To where it bent in the undergrowth;
    Then took the other, as just as fair,
    And having perhaps the better claim,
    Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
    Though as for that the passing there
    Had worn them really about the same,
    And both that morning equally lay
    In leaves no step had trodden black.
    Oh, I kept the first for another day!
    Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
    I doubted if I should ever come back.
    I shall be telling this with a sigh
    Somewhere ages and ages hence:
    Two roads diverged in a wood, and I-
    I took the one less traveled by,
    And that has made all the difference.

    Liked by 1 person

    You show more courage than many will show—-
    They should turn quickly and follow your lead
    For rich on your vines are choice fruit and seed!
    —Jonathan Caswell ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ John 15: 8

    Liked by 1 person

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