14 August 2010

And Death Shall Have No Dominion...

I like the poetry of Dylan Thomas. Maybe it is simply because the poetry is good, or it might be because of a shared Welsh heritage, or it could be something that I am yet to realise. However, there was some discussion before Will was born about names that he might be given before we decided on Will. Among these was Dylan.

Anyways, I have been going through all my books in order to sort them out into some kind of order in readiness for packing them into specifically labelled boxes so that I can find them again. Whilst on this mission I came across some Dylan Thomas poetry, including one of my favourites; "And Death Shall Have No Dominion".

The beauty of poetry is that a poem is really anything anyone cares to label as such. There is, obviously, good poetry and not-so-good poetry, but it is all poetry at the end of the day. I am not going to analyse this poem for you. Rather, I would encourage you to read it, and bring to it your own life experiences and views. My biggest enjoyment in reading poetry is imagining that the poet was writing this poem for you to read and interpret it as you will.

This poem has even been interpreted as being a commentary on the inevitable socialist underpinnings of our existence.

So, it is within this framework that I post "And Death Shall Have No Dominion".


And death shall have no dominion. 
Dead men naked they shall be one 
With the man in the wind and the west moon; 
When their bones are picked clean and the clean bones gone, 
They shall have stars at elbow and foot; 
Though they go mad they shall be sane, 
Though they sink through the sea they shall rise again; 
Though lovers be lost love shall not; 
And death shall have no dominion. 

And death shall have no dominion. 
Under the windings of the sea 
They lying long shall not die windily; 
Twisting on racks when sinews give way, 
Strapped to a wheel, yet they shall not break; 
Faith in their hands shall snap in two, 
And the unicorn evils run them through; 
Split all ends up they shan't crack; 
And death shall have no dominion. 

And death shall have no dominion. 
No more may gulls cry at their ears 
Or waves break loud on the seashores; 
Where blew a flower may a flower no more 
Lift its head to the blows of the rain; 
Though they be mad and dead as nails, 
Heads of the characters hammer through daisies; 
Break in the sun till the sun breaks down, 
And death shall have no dominion.

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