Wednesday, February 26, 2014

You can't escape death but you can sure as hell fight it to the bitter end.

Many years ago my friend, former professor and mentor Diana discussed Dylan Thomas's "Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night" in class.

Thomas wrote the poem about his dying father and I will never forget the words or their meaning. When you read this, you can feel the angst, the desperation Thomas felt wanting his father to hold on to his very last breath. This poem encourages one to fight like hell against death, with whatever means necessary. Because we only get one life, we have to make it count, every second. Every single second.

We know we can't escape death ultimately, it comes for all of us, but that doesn't mean we have to sit back and let it take us without giving it a run for its money.
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 that 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.


2 comments:

  1. As a person MUCH nearer to the end of life than the beginning, I understand Dylan Thomas's need to rage against the dying of the light. I ALSO understand the idea that acceptance of death and being prepared for it is an alternative that is gaining appeal with me. Having seen my father, and then my brother deal with an aggressive form of leukemia and having watched my mother hang on tightly to her life at the end of her almost 95 years, I think this is a very personal decision that each person must make for him/herself. Rage if you choose, accept and go in dignity if you choose. Or, maybe BOTH.

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