"Do not go gentle into that good night" is a poem in the form of a villanelle, and the most famous work of Welsh poet Dylan Thomas (1914–1953). Though first published in the journal Botteghe Oscure in 1951, it was actually written in 1947 when he was in Florence with his family. It was published, along with other stories previously written, as part of his In Country Sleep, And Other Poems in 1952.
It has been suggested that it was written for Thomas' dying father, although he did not die until just before Christmas 1952.[dead link] It has no title other than its first line, "Do not go gentle into that good night", a line which appears as a refrain throughout. Its other refrain is "Rage, rage against the dying of the light".
The poem remains under copyright but was made publicly available here at poets.org (with the copyright holder's permission).
It was used as the text for the 1954 In Memoriam Dylan Thomas (Dirge-Canons and Song) for tenor and chamber ensemble, by Igor Stravinsky. The piece was written soon after Thomas' death and first performed in 1954.
It was the inspiration for three paintings by Swansea-born painter and print-maker Ceri Richards, in 1954, 1956 and 1965 respectively.
In the 1996 film Independence Day, the President makes a rousing speech as he prepares to lead the attack against the alien invaders, adapting Thomas' line, saying, "We will not go quietly into the night".
It is referred to in the 2010 Matched novel trilogy by Ally Condie. It is given to Cassia by her grandfather, although she later destroys it. It is also referred to in the other books of the trilogy, Crossed and Reached.
The title is used as the name of the 2011 episode 20, season 3 of the TV show The Vampire Diaries.
The line "don't go gentle into the goodnight, rage on against the dying light" is used at the end of the song "Somebody to Die For" written and performed by British duo Hurts from their second studio album Exile (2013).
Cartoonist Dave Kellett uses it to to illustrate the difficulties of getting children to go to bed, in his Sheldon comic.
^ abDylan Thomas, poets.org, He took his family to Italy, and while in Florence, he wrote In Country Sleep, And Other Poems (Dent, 1952), which includes his most famous poem, “Do not go gentle into that good night.”