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Friday, 4 November 2011

for a poem I have long admired

(read it here)


Damn and blast it, he was right:
I'm with the kid;
I'll not go gentle
into his good night.

No, when they come to close the day
I'll burn and rave, be downright rude
at any proffered platitude,
and not accept the death of light.

Who is it says that night is right?
that dark must always
conquer day
throughout life's length and breadth and height?

Who is it says, no matter what
life throws at us
we make no fuss;
accept it all with undue grace?

No, when the light is fading fast
I'll kick and scream,
harangue and curse my useless god -
and find the fear of Him at last.

Except... solicitude (just that)
for friends and family around
might force a smile, allow no sound -
and keep the bottled rage within.

But then again,
I'm still not sure
another light wont break upon
a darker and more distant shore...

17 comments:

Jim Murdoch said...

I’m sorry but as soon as I read “I'll burn and rave, be downright rude” I couldn’t help but think of Jenny Joseph’s poem ‘Warning’ (“When I am an old woman I shall wear purple”).

Bee said...

I've never been much of a stoic; hope that I'm raging, too, (and not just whining!).

Truly: I hope that I'm still loving life enough to resent it being taken away from me.

Gerry Snape said...

Tears in my eyes as I read this one...I never go gently anyway..always a bit of raging in me...so I love this and the blessed Dylan for writing these words. Thankyou!

Isabel Doyle said...

solicitude, the policeman at the corner, manners ... are they what make us who we are or prevent us from being ourselves?

It is a topic I have had to face quite a bit over the last few years and I am torn between the elegiac wistfulness and a desire for it to be over (ooops, probably wasn't supposed to say that - see above)

Isabel x

Ash said...

Beautiful!

ThePeSla said...

The "good" night, surely the stuff of much our our poetry.

Light on "darker and more distant shore?"

These things on my mind today- but you know Mr. King

All is light and we the generation forever young- the only sorrow I have is that the world has seemed to leave so many of our new generations in the dark...

Great as usual!

The PeSla

Tommaso Gervasutti said...

A great and "raging" digression after Dylan Thomas.
I particularly agree with:
"Who is it says night is right?"...
Most of us, I feel, need this bit of rage.

Windsmoke. said...

Very enjoyable indeed it flowed along nicely :-).

120 Socks said...

Classic, clever, and pretty good:) Great combo!

Mary said...

I think now that I will kick and scream, as I am healthy; but I wonder if I am not, if I will just give in and go.

sunny said...

Hi Mr Dave,brilliant idea,really like it as always.:)

haricot said...

My brother has fatal illness now and can do nothing about it but hospitalize once a month. Yours which is hommage for the original and the latter are both admirable,while I hope my brother's sons and daughter would know the feeling as late as possible.

Dave King said...

Jim
O.K. So why "sorry"?

Bee
I think both opf those sentiments go for me too - and I'm getting uncomfortably close. Good to have the comment. Thanks.

Gerry
You sound like you'l be fine, then! Thanks for a lovely comment.

Isabel
I think you should have: if you think it, I think you should say it. Thanks for being so honest. As for manners, we were always taught at school that they "maketh man", but no one ver said what they maketh of man. A bit of both, I think, to answer your question. Great comment. Thanks.

Ash
Welcome. Great to have your comment. Thank you.

ThePeSla
Hi and a warm welcome to you. I think you've plumbed a greater depth than I attempted. Your comment deserves a lot of thought, but certainly I couldn't disagree with your last sentence. Thanks for a thought-provoking response.

Tommaso
Many thanks for this. Yes, you pick out the eternal conundrum, I think.

Windsmoke
Many thanks.

120Socks
Very generous of you to say so. Your comment is much appreciated.

Mary
A very valid point. It does depend on so many factors. I'm sure that speaks for me, too. I feel - as I said above - that I am getting uncomfortably close, and I always used to wonder what this phase would be like, how I would look upon it, but now it's here it seems unreal, I'm less het up about it than I used to be. That seems perverse.

sunny
Thanks a lot.

haricot
Of course. I'm sure we would all think that way. The point about hiding the rage for the sake of loved ones comes in here, I think.

Anonymous said...

Dave, Isabel was talking about dying, not your poem, I'm sure.

Jenny Woolf said...

Perfectly catches that ambivalent feeling that many of us have I suspect.

Jim Murdoch said...

'Sorry' because I felt like I was trivialising your poem by the comparison.

Dave King said...

Jenny
I'm sure that's right. I would guess that it's almost universal.

Jim
Ah, I didn't take it that way. Thanks anyway.