Study Guide

The Force That through the Green Fuse Drives the Flower Death

By Dylan Thomas


It seems like whenever "time" is an important theme, death isn't too far behind. So, it comes as no big surprise that death pops up a lot in "The Force That through the Green Fuse Drives the Flower." The poem is full of death imagery (some expected, some pretty unusual). Thomas can't even let us enjoy a nice flower without killing the thing off (come on D, give us a break). In each of the poem's five stanzas, Thomas makes sure to remind us that wherever there is bubbly life, dusty death isn't too far behind.

Questions About Death

  1. Does the poem seem linear or cyclical? Is death the end of everything or is it just part of a cycle where destruction and death are merely necessary phases? What descriptions reinforce your feelings?
  2. This poem is full of death imagery and metaphor. Pick a favorite. What is the poem's darkest, deadest moment? What makes it #1 for you?
  3. Are there any descriptions in the poem that could represent life or death? What are they and what creates the duality?

Chew on This

Cheer up, gang. Despite its bleak, often morbid, imagery "The Forceā€¦" is actually a hopeful poem celebrating the cyclical nature of life.

By filling his poem with such a wide variety of vivid, haunting, death metaphors and imagery, Thomas heightens the sense that death is everywhere and that all roads lead to death. Yikes.

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