Do Not Go Gentle Into That Dying Night - an Analysis

1330 WordsOct 31, 20126 Pages
“Do not go gentle into that good night” A poem by Dylan Thomas This poem, by Dylan Thomas is written in the French verse form called villanelle. This is a very strict form, which requires an intricate rhyme scheme and two lines that serve as refrains. It is built up by 19 lines divided into six stanzas, the first five individually consisting of three-line stanzas called tercets, followed by a quatrain – a four-line stanza with the first line of the initial tercet recurring as the last line of the second and fourth tercets, and the third line in the initial tercet recurring in the last line of the third and fifth tercets. Furthermore, these two refrains are again repeated as the last two lines of the poem. (Ferguson, Salter & Stallworthy, 2005). “In English, villanelles tend to be written in the common metrical pattern called iambic pentameter, which means ten syllables per line, with every other syllable stressed, starting with the second syllable… …The meter, however, isn't required in order to make it a villanelle” (Shmoop Editorial Team, 2008)1. Villanelles must be written with mathematical precision when they are written in English. This form wasn’t designed for the English language, which has fewer rhyming words than many other European languages. Villanelles originate from a French type of poetry and became popular in English as a late-19th-century and early-20th-century import (Shmoop Editorial Team, 2008)1. Can a writer utilize such a structurally demanding form, and still convey the emotions he/she wishes to convey? Is it bold, or is it a choice based on this form being a strengthening factor for the poems theme? Many factors should be considered when trying to answer such questions. In addition to being a very passionate writer, Dylan Thomas was also an organized writer, but even so – being able to write a poem with such passion and

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