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.