I have to take a poem and write an essay on the form, and how it supports the content of the poem. In a formal essay style: 5 paragraphs, 3 sub-topics.

I just need some second opinions with analyzing the form. Im also not quite sure as to what type of thesis I will use either. Please help if you can.Emotion: smile

Here is the poem:

By: Dylan Thompson

Do not go gentle into that good night.

Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage agianst 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 greived it on its way,
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Grave men, near death, who see the 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

1 2

I am completely useless with poems, so I will try to attract others to your post.

LOL So am I. This is gonig to be my worst unit for me. Im terrible at poems as well.
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It must be 10 years since I had to analyse a poem and I can't even remember the name for this type of structure; isn't that terrible.

You might want to talk about the rhyme pattern of ABA being repeated in each verse, finishing with an AA couplet in the final verse, and discuss how this repetition can add to the poem's meaning and 'atmosphere'. There are only two rhymes in the entire poem.

Apart from that, try and find out what this structure is called.

You could discuss the metre (or rythmn) of the lines and how that adds to the effect and of course, the choice of words is very important. Why one word and not another, it's not just to fit in with the rhyme pattern, think about how the meaning would change with each small change to the language.

Best of luck!
This is a villanelle, a French form which is a very minor one in English poetry-- with the conspicuous exception of this fine piece by Dylan Thomas. (The middle lines rhyme, and the 1st and 3rd lines rhyme, and the rhyme scheme is rigidly defined; it closes with a quatrain. There are other rules. It is a very strict form.) I suggest that you google 'villanelle' initially, and locate some other examples. Notice the powerful effect that Thomas creates, compared to other efforts, like that of W.E. Henley. (I think Pound may have tried one also, though a title escapes me.) How does Dylan do it effectively, when the villanelle has been so unsuccessful otherwise?

You should know, at least, that Thomas's father was dying when he wrote this.

If you post your draft, we will have a look at it. Good luck.
Thanks for your replies. I can easily depict the poem. I really dont understand how I can form an essay based on form and content. All I really need help on is developing a thesis.
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One thesis would be: 'Dylan Thomas chose the villanelle, an extremely intricate fixed poetic form, and one far removed from the modern idea of natural poetry, so that he could control the poetic expression of the very strong personal emotions that he was feeling and writing about.'
^^ thank you. bump.
Alright people:

Here are some rough notes I would like to share with you too see if Im on the right track:


Dylan Thomas choses a villanelle structure for this work so he could control his expression's and feeling at the time he was writing this poem.

Sub topic #1:

The title of the poem prepares the reader for what the poem is about. "Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night" is very significant because the imagery of death, and darkness can be concluded all from that statement and it gives the reader a steady readiness of what is to be expected from the poem.

The death of the light here shows us blackness: the ultimate darkness. This one line brings to light all of the darkness, death, and evil that is in this poem

Sub Topic #2:

One of the archetypal images Thomas uses is that of the wise old man. “Though wise men at their end know dark is right, because their words forked no lighting they do not go gentle into that good night.” This passage speaks of wise men that fail. The archetypal definition of the wise man is one who possesses the qualities of insight, wisdom, cleverness, a spiritual principle, and much more. But aside from the fact that these men are wise, their words still mean nothing. This passage gives the reader an unmistakable image of darkness in the lives of even those who are wise

Sub Topic #3:

Another villanelle part in this poem is the theme is the fourth stanza of the poem. “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.” Here the image of the sun represents the passing of life. And the men, who were too late in catching the sun and grieved it on its way, are giving us the image that the sun is setting. Or, as it could be interpreted, the sun for that day is dying. Here again we have a passage that is giving us a clear image of darkness. And here, also, we see Thomas referring to death.
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