The above image was downloaded from FuneralGuide.co.uk All credits, rights, etc go to them. That being said, this image had the cleanest version of the poem that I wanted to share with you all.
This beautiful, haunting poem by Dylan Thomas is one of my favorites, and is well loved by many. The poem is about death, very clearly about death and has been taught and analyzed in schools and colleges a thousand times over. The comparing of light and dark, clearly implying life and death, how some men lament their regrets and their good deeds that could have been, if only.
Since my father died, this poem has been stuck on a loop in my head. More so as the pandemic death toll grew larger with each passing day, just those last lines, “Do not go gentle into that good night. Rage, rage against the dying of the light.”
There is a part of me that feels like I need to share this with you, that I need you to hear the words for the fullest and deepest meaning, whatever that might be to you. I know, you thought I was going to tell you what that meaning might be, but no, that is for you to ponder over a nice glass of brandy in your study, or a tall iced tea on your back patio.
I will tell you what it means to me, other than the obvious plea from a son to his father to fight death, to rebel, to rise up against the darkness that seeks to carry him away. It’s begging us to not become complacent in the things that matter most, to not just accept what is given to us, to not just give up or give in.
Life is not meant to be lived in complacency. Life is given to us to LIVE it, to experience it, to invent, analyze, and to create. It’s our purpose to leave this earth the better for our being here, for our having LIVED. When you attempt something and you fail, you are to ”rage against the dying of the light.” The dying of Your light, the one inside you that drives you to be who you are, or to become who you were meant to be. You are not meant to just quit, to just “go gentle into that good night”, you are not meant to quietly go home and cease all further attempts.
I believe that perhaps Dylan was not only talking to his father, not just grieving the coming loss, but maybe grieving for his own losses as well. Regretting his own complacencies in life. Wishing he had raged more for his own light. No way to ever know for sure, but when I read this poem, my soul tells me that I’m right.
I‘ve been lost in life, many times. I have been complacent and accepting of things that I should not have been. I have lost my inner light or have allowed others to extinguish it. But somehow, I’m still here. Every time I feel like I just can’t go on, these words speak to me from the darkness and I rage. I rage on in my own life, against the dying of my own light. I refuse to just go gently anymore, and when my life ends, I will still refuse to just go gentle, I will fight it, I will rage against it, because I am to live my life, every second, without regret, without giving up or giving in.
I challenge each of you to read the poem above, and read it again. Let it speak to you, let it find your rage and light your inner spark again. When the time comes that you feel yourself giving up, accepting less than you deserve or otherwise losing the will to Live your life as you were meant to, find your Rage, embrace it and Rage on.