Do not go gentle into that good night

Q Writing 4 Comments

This post is gonna get kind of heavy–sorry.

“Do not go gentle into that good night” (by Dylan Thomas) was always my favorite poem.  Initially, I interpreted it to mean that defiance in the face of certain death is the way to go.  I liked that message–continue to live to your fullest until you can’t anymore.  Don’t just give up at the end just because it’s the end, but continue to fight, survive, and (more importantly) live.

Now I’m thinking that there’s more to it than that . . .

Yes, the most direct meaning of the poem is to face death with a fierce and unyielding heart.  But my recent revelation has to do with the fact that we’re always facing death.  It’s part of the human condition.

Time doesn’t stop–not for anyone (even if it seems that way sometimes).  We’re always marching toward an inexorable end, which sounds REALLY depressing (sorry).

That’s the magic of this poem though.  Thomas new that–he knew that it applied not just to his father “on that sad height,” but also so himself.


So, I say to you, do not go gentle into that good night.

Live each day with fierce determination.

Go forward, be strong, and bask in the light.

It may not last forever, but life isn’t fleeting.

It’s constant, there for the entire span of your reality.

Make the most of it.  Keep your heart beating.

Every day, rage against the dying of the light,

and never go quietly into the night.


Or, in other words, when Life hands you a giant pile of crap, hop on your skateboard, escape, and then trick Life into a fecal-face-plant.

Still too much metaphor?  Look, we’re going to bite it some day.  That doesn’t mean that we should give up and not do anything with the time we have.  If you’re having a shitty day, rebel against it.  Do not accept the darkness into your life–do not allow negativity to rule your actions and your heart.  The day always dawns, and with each new one, there are new opportunities.  Sometimes, you’ve just got to fight for them.

Thank you, Mr. Thomas, for reminding me to fight for what I have and what I want in life.

Comments 4

  1. I’m reminded of the poem in “The Grey” that was fictionally written by Ottway’s (Liam Neeson) father:

    “Once more into the fray,
    Into the last good fight I’ll ever know.
    Live and die this day.
    Live and die this day.”

    By the end of the movie, Ottway realizes the meaning of his father’s poem – that you should never give up. Living is about living. To be alive without fighting is essentially death. So live. Rage. Fight.

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