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Do Not Go Gentle into That Good Night

Do Not Go Gentle into That Good Night

by Dylan Thomas

Lightning, Meteors, and Other Things that Fall From the Sky

Symbol Analysis

Bolts of lightning, blazing meteors, and other images of light and fire captivate our attention in this poem about living with intensity. Life is no "brief candle" here; it's a blazing bonfire, a towering inferno, a firecracker. Sometimes people say they want to "go out with a bang," and Dylan Thomas would definitely have approved of that attitude.

  • Lines 4-6: The poem relies on intense and puzzling imagery, a lightning bolt that isn't forked or split by the words of wise men. (For our opinion of what this image means, see the "Line-by-Line Summary.")
  • Lines 13-14: The poem presents us with a paradox: the dying men who have gone blind can still "see," at least in a metaphorical sense. The paradox and the images surrounding it are emphasized by more over-the-top alliteration: "blinding," "blind," "blaze," and "be." Three of these four words repeat a bl consonant pair in addition to the initial b sound, making the alliteration even more noticeable.

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