Do not go gentle into that good night
"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. 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".
Use in popular culture
- 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.
- It was used in the 1995 film Dangerous Minds in the "Dylan-Dylan" contest (Bob Dylan vs. Dylan Thomas)
- 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 used repeatedly by the character Professor John Brand, played by Michael Caine, as well as several other supporting characters in the 2014 film Interstellar.
- It is used by artist Sarah Beck in her work The Light about the demise of the tungsten light bulb in 2015.
- In "The Shakespeare Code", the second episode of the third season of Doctor Who (2007), The Doctor quotes the line "Rage, rage against the dying of the light". In the 2015 episode, "The Magician's Apprentice", the Doctor's companion, Clara Oswald, quotes the title line of the poem.
- The phrase "(the) dying of the light" from the poem's refrain has been used as the title of several subsequent works, including of George R. R. Martin's first science fiction novel (1977), a 2014 film directed by Paul Schrader, and an episode of the television show "Heroes."
- The phrase "Do not go on gentle into that good night" was used in Episode 29 of Season 5 of Adventure Time (2013).
- "Dylan Thomas". Academy of American Poets.
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.”
- Ferris, Paul (1989). Dylan Thomas, A Biography. New York: Paragon House. p. 283. ISBN 1-55778-215-6.
- "Dylan Thomas: Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night". BBC Wales. 6 November 2008. Archived from the original on 27 November 2012. Retrieved 18 December 2010.
- "Do not go gentle into that good night | Academy of American Poets". Poets.org. Retrieved 1 September 2015.
- Keller, Hans (1955). "In Memoriam Dylan Thomas: Strawinsky's Schoenbergian Technique". Tempo (35): 13–20.
- "Ceri Richards: 'Do not go gentle into that good night' 1956". tate.org.uk/. Retrieved 22 October 2013.
- Mair, Jan (1998). "American rules, OK: Difference and otherness in `Independence Day'". Futures. 30 (10): 981–991. doi:10.1016/s0016-3287(98)00100-1. (subscription required (. ))
- Wade, Chris (5 November 2014). ""Do not go gentle into that good night" in Interstellar, Back to School, and many other movies: the supercut (VIDEO)". Slate.
- "McMurray Musings: Fort McMurray, We Have Ignition". www.mcmurraymusings.com. Retrieved 2016-02-15.
- Gareth Roberts, Doctor Who: "The Shakespeare Code", BBC One, first broadcast 7 April 2007.
- Steven Moffat, Doctor Who: "The Magician's Apprentice", BBC One, first broadcast 19 September 2015
- "BBC Writers Room: Doctor Who - Series 9, Episodes 1 & 2 and Episodes 11 & 12 - Steven Moffat". bbc.co.uk/. 2015. Retrieved 6 October 2016.