Dylan Thomas (1914-1953), is famous for his acute use of the theme of celebration of life over death. Thomas is a poet writing in the 20th century alongside other prominent modern poets, such as T. S. Eliot, and W.H. Auden. His poems, unlike the modernist theme of disillusionment and alienation, gave a sense of hope to people who needed it during the 20th century.
More Notes: Dylan Thomas
Life, for Thomas, does not end with the onset of death but traces of the real self-lives mingled with nature. A time comes in life when people start getting older when their body doesn’t feel the same. His youthful ways don’t suit him anymore. His rosy continence and youthful vigor fail him. Death feels like a dreadful reality; inevitably looming large.
To Dylan Thomas, death has always been a dominating presence, inevitable but inexplicable. It accompanies a sense of loss and numbness that the world experienced together with the coronavirus. Thomas’s view on death and life is a poignant response and perhaps a means of solace for the world right now.
‘Do Not Go Gentle into the Good Night’, is an iconic poem, where he accepts the righteousness of death and its place in the cycle of life, yet he implores to “rage against the dying of the light”. Thomas’s poems are full of images of creation and destruction, life and death, and the connection between man and the universe.
More Notes: Suggestions
He realizes death is not the end of life but a new beginning. A man may die physically but after death, his spiritual journey begins. When the poet visits his aunt’s grave he is overwhelmed by her virtues. He realizes that his aunt is dead physically but she is alive spiritually. Thus, Dylan Thomas celebrates life over death.