Thomas uses contrasting imagery, as Henry Reed did in ‘Naming of Parts’, in the line ‘And all the birds are singing, bills wide in vain/As Cynddylan passes proudly up the lane’ to vent his anger at the fact that the noisy machinery drowns out the stunning sound of nature. R. S. Thomas, like the two previous poets, does not directly complain about the removal of man from the soil and the association to machinery, but prefers to use a variety of techniques to show his opposition to the self-estrangement of man from the soil.
The last of the four poems, ‘Do not go Gentle into that Good Night’, is Dylan Thomas’ lament on the death of his father. It is his angry outburst about the death and death in general. ‘That Good Night’ is Thomas’ metaphor for death. The 1st and 3rd lines of each stanza rhyme, which gives the poem a plod-like tone, helping to add to Thomas’ belief that he has to accept the inevitability of death, for example ‘night’ rhymes with ‘light’, and ‘height’. The traipsing tone indicates that this poem is to be read, even though it is iambic.
The rhyme and rhythm structure is very important as it is constant throughout the poem and gives the poem its structured appearance. The lexis used in this poem is often very bitter, with words such as ‘rage’, ‘frail’ and ‘curse’ being examples. The continual tonal shift throughout the verses reflects Thomas’ confused feelings, in some verses he expresses his desire for his father to ‘rage against the crying of the light’, but in another he reflects on his father’s frail state. Examples can be seen when in one verse he uses the word ‘wild’ to express outrage, but in another he becomes passive and uses words such as ‘sad’ and ‘gentle’.
He comments on death in each verse and, like the other poets, uses enjambment to continue ideas from one line to the next. Thomas brings all of his ideas together in the final stanza, which signifies the conclusion of the poem and the end rhyming couplet brings his ideas together tidily. Dylan Thomas is perhaps the most direct of all the poets in expressing his complaint, although it is still expressed through linguistic techniques and Latinate language. In conclusion, my personal favourite poem is ‘Do not go Gentle into that Good Night’ because of the continual tonal shift it contains.
I find the balancing of the lines remarkable as the poet, Dylan Thomas, is able to exquisitely swap from a raging tone to a vulnerable state with precision. This poem also contains a remarkably effective rhyming scheme, and the fact that there is the continual repetition of the last word on the 1st and 3rd lines gives the poem structure. This is not to say that I don’t like the other poems, as I enjoy the intelligent use of language and techniques across the selection, but I take pleasure in reading Thomas’ poem because of it’s slower pace and also because of all of the mixed emotions communicated.