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Death and Loss in Dylan Thomas' Poetry

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Dylan Thomas was a great and famous writer and poet, who not only wrote poems and plays but also performed them himself. Thomas’s poetry was unique in that it was played in a verbal style as compared to other strict and common verse forms. This paper is a criticism analysis of Dylan Thomas’s poetry and especially in the poem’ Death and loss in Dylan Thomas poetry’.

Analysis of ‘Death and loss in Dylan Thomas poetry

The first part of the poem Death shall have no dominion ‘’and death shall have no dominion, dead mean naked they shall be one, with the man in the wind and the west moon’’ is a about doom with no light or hope. In other words the first part of this poem simply points at doom. Dylan Thomas introduces this poem in a strong way but with no life or hope at all. He suggests that death can have no dominion on the dead and that the dead can still be one. He does not in any way suggest a way out or portray a ray of hope. (Thomas, 1971) The second part of the first paragraph, Dylan suggests that the dead can no longer feel pain or be subjected to torture. This means that in Dylan’s mind, his life or the life of the people he was referring to is fixed to in the meaning of their death. In other word Dylan’s poem simply means that the only hope of these people is in their death. This is because in their death, they shall be free from the blows and torture that they are currently experiencing in their lives. However other critics have suggested that this first paragraph shows great hope and redemption. The critics have argued that this poem is a poem of hope and that ‘everything mad, harsh insane and evil is overcome in the event of death or after death. The best line in the poem that drew many good reviews of the poem is ‘’though lovers be lost, love will not’’. This according to many analysts is a sign of hope. They argue that this line means that love will live on even after death. They also argue that this line talks of the preservation of life. According to this analyst, this poem is a very positive poem. However, the nature and flow of this poem has no positive attributes. Other analysts call it a religious theme which is not about survival after death but purely about death and destruction both in life and after death. (Thomas, 2003) Dylan wrote many poems that deal with death. For example ‘A refusal to moan’ this poem refers to end of self esteem and loss of identity as an individual. The poems ‘do not go gentle into that good night ‘has been seen by many analysts as a cry for survival, or a lost cry. The most outstanding character that is seen from this poem is Dylan’s fear of being left by his father. The line’ rage, rage against the dying of the light ‘’is a sign of the emotions that Dylan was going through or that he felt at the loss. Other analysts have suggested that Dylan’s was writing about a universal experience .Mostly an experience of how men would react in such a scenario. It all has to do with death but also shows a way of facing the prospect the death of a loved one. Rage, according to Dylan was his reaction to the demise of his father; rage against his father and against death. This is because he had no power to change the course or his father death. Many good reviews on this poem state that one has to be sad sometimes and angry if need be. This poem shows also a rage against the things that would want to bury a person and the inability to change them. However, other critics have argued that this poem does not offer an option to fight against the things that want to bury them but rage against them. Thus they argue that this is a cowardly way out. Dylan Thomas poetry has a unique flow is woven and dominated by speech rhythms.

What was the effect of Dylan Thomas poems to the audience?

Dylan Thomas did not only impact and leave a mark in the audience of his time but to date. Dylan’s poetry continues to draw reaction, views, reviews and criticism from many different people from different walks of life. These poems will continue to impact the generations to come. This is because Dylan Thomas remains a legendary figure of the century. He has also made a permanent mark in the literary history and field. Many recent writers are not only motivated by Dylan’s poems but also draw inspiration and ideas from these poems. This is simply because of Dylan’s extraordinary writing style that have touched and changed the very heart of poetry. Many scholars and analyst still can not capture the height of the unique nature of his poetry style. His writing or poetry style was refreshing and odd at the same time. However,

Dylan’s was accused and is still being accused of drowning in language and on whiskey at the same time. However, this was not so, from the history Dylan’s early history and his sober poems, it is clear that Dylan was very committed to his poems and did not sleep or drown on his job. Dylan’s unique talent has long been remembered for many decades after his death and will continue to be remembered for many generations. (Thomas, 2000) The big question is who will fill his shoes? Did his talent die with him?

What inspired Dylan Thomas to write his poems?

Dylan Thomas’s poems clearly reveal and show a focus from his childhood and his believes. However, some of his poems show his believe in a sacred spiritual force that made his life worthwhile .The most outstanding aspects of his poems depict his uncertainty about the darkness and death. He probably wonders if the extensive darkness he experiences or thinks he will experience can ever be brightened. He does not see any hope in the darkness but is overwhelmed with the darkness. He expresses his anger and rage in his poems by a tactful manner and in a unique style. (Thomas, 2003) His unique style captures, attracts and draws attention. This is simply means that Dylan Thomas’s inspiration to write his poems came from his personal experiences and believes. Some of his quotes such as ‘’ someone’s boring me, I think it is me’’, an alcoholic is someone you do not like and who drinks like you ‘Clearly show how he viewed himself and his low self esteem.

Was Dylan’s death related to the theme in his poems?

This question has attracted many reactions, views, and suggestion on the subject. Many people have viewed it as an unfair comparison. However, from his quotes such as ‘’ a good poem is a contribution to reality’’ analysts suggest that he got what he wished for. Dylan Thomas indulged in heavy drinking from his early days, a vice that had a negative effect on his life as a whole and his marriage as well. His untimely death was because of his drinking. In his poems he talks about rage and anger towards things that he had no control over. His fear and anger for death is clearly seen in his poems. The theme of his poems was death. The poem ‘a refusal to moan death was one of the most popular poems of his time. (Thomas, 2010) This poem was about death. Dylan’s attitude towards death is clearly seen in this poem. In this poem Dylan or the person he is talking about is concerned and mourns the absurdity of a child’s death or an untimely death. To Thomas, the reality of death in his life was very important .The reality of death not only made him angry but was also a cause of concern this is because he was concerned mainly about the after life or after death. What comes after death or after his untimely death was a way for him to face his worse fears and experience first hand what happens after life or what happens after death.


Dylan Thomas was a legendary figure in that made an impact in his time and in the 20th century as well. Dylan’s poetry will continue to impact the world in many generations to come. The many critics and the criticism will not in any way change the impact that Dylan’s poems have had. The unique writing style will continue to make history in the generations to come.

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