Study Guide

The Force That through the Green Fuse Drives the Flower Man and the Natural World

By Dylan Thomas

Man and the Natural World

"The Force That through the Green Fuse Drives the Flower" is filled with nature imagery. There are flowers, trees, streams, springs, and even worms (yuck). But what makes this natural imagery really interesting is how Thomas uses it to develop a sense of interconnectedness between man and the world around him. With a healthy dose of metaphor and a helping hand from personification, Thomas really ties these two realms together. Ultimately, this leads us to the realization that, as far as time is concerned, they are really one and the same.

Questions About Man and the Natural World

  1. "The Force…" is certainly full of nature, but would you consider this a nature poem? Why or why not?
  2. What stanza, line, or phrase gives you the strongest sense of the interconnectedness between man and nature? Why?
  3. See if you can out-Dylan, Dylan. Try to come up with your own nature image that reflects the interconnectedness between the human and the natural realms. If you want to beat D at his own game, you'll probably need to use some of his tricks: that means metaphor and personification.

Chew on This

"The Force…" is a metaphysical exploration of time and the cyclical quality of life and death. Nice try and all, but it is not a nature poem. Thomas just stuck a flower in the title so people wouldn't be scared off.

Buy incorporating a great deal of nature imagery into this poem, Thomas makes it easier for us to see that the things we fear—aging and death—are merely part of the world all around us. By including humanity in nature's cycle, Thomas gives us hope by offering freedom from a linear view of life, freedom from the finality of beginning, middle, and end. (We bet you thought this chew was never going to end.)

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