Poem for June: Do not go gentle into that good night.

by Dylan Thomas

Read, and also listen, to the poem here.

So the thing about memorizing a poem is that you become very familiar with its nuances. In a good poem, this is fun, as wonderful turns of phrase are still wonderful near the end of the month after you’ve said them fifty-plus times. However, sometimes what seems to be a good poem, reveals its flaws in the memorizing process in a way they do not upon first reading. That word that isn’t quite the right word suddenly becomes that much more of clinker and weighs down the poem a bit in an unsatisfying way.

So it was with this poem. My problem is with the fifth stanza where I find the repetition of the word “blind” as in “…see with blinded sight/blind eyes should…” a bit lazy. In my view, successful poets are supposed to express things using a vast thesaurus of words. Repetition of words can happen and is sometimes successful in a poem, but in this case, I think that he could have found another word.

One thought on “Poem for June: Do not go gentle into that good night.”

  1. Its funny how I know the first stanza, just because it is so famous. It is odd to me that it is part of my collective memory, though I have never read the whole poem through (at least I think not). A nice pick for June. Interesting about the words and their flow after memorizing.

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