This blog is for everyone who uses words.

The ordinary-sized words are for everyone, but the big ones are especially for children.

Saturday, 1 November 2014

Saturday Rave: Do not go gentle into that good night by Dylan Thomas.

Dylan Thomas was born just about a hundred years ago.


On a hill street stands a two storied semi-detached house with bay windows to the front and a sloped tiled roof with a chimney.

That's 5, Cwmdonkin Drive, Swansea. The double disadvantage of firstly being born in a place called Cwmdonkin Drive and secondly being called Dylan (traditionally pronounced dull'n in Wales) would be enough, one would think, to put paid to any ambitions towards poetry in all but the madly determined and quite probably drunk.

But then Thomas was both of those.

Thomas produced a tremendous amount of work, eighty per cent of it, astonishingly, before the age of twenty. He's famous for having died on a visit to New York after having drunk a lot of whisky (exactly how much whisky is disputed). He was certainly ill at the time, as well as drunk, and the smog of New York can have done nothing to help his chronically bad chest.

However ill he was, he did a lot of work in those last few days, as well as a lot of drinking.

...Wild men who caught the sun in flight,
And learn, too late, they grieved it on its way,
Do not go gentle into that good night...

Dylan Thomas was never wealthy. In fact he wasn't often out of debt. It's hard to argue that he lived wisely, or happily, or that he made the people around him happy, either.

I think the fact that this post is appearing on All Saints' Day would have amused him greatly.

Oh, but his life was lived, right to the end, all the same.

Do not go gentle into that good night...

Word To Use Today: gentle. This word comes from the Old French gentil, noble, from the Latin gentīlis, belonging to the same family, from gens, race.

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