Sunday, June 19, 2016

“I've been exhausted, I've been afraid and I've wanted to quit more times than I can remember. But I just never did and I never will.” ― Cliff Hannold

Dylan Thomas was a Welsh poet who died young (in his forties) but is remembered and honored in literary circles.  He wrote a wonderful Christmas story, “A Child’s Christmas in Wales” that I have read to my family on several Christmases.  His father was dying around 1950, and Dylan wrote perhaps his most famous poem to his father.  It has no title but is known by its first line “Do not go gentle into that good night.”  I offer it here for two reasons, one that I like what it says and how it says it, and, two, I want all of my sons to know that I will not “go gentle.”

Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Though wise men at their end know dark is right,
Because their words had forked no lightning they
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright
Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight,
And learn, too late, they grieved it on its way,
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight
Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

And you, my father, there on the sad height,
Curse, bless, me now with your fierce tears, I pray.
Do not go gentle into that good night.
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

And so I shall.

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