Jul. 26th, 2010

kirby1024: Hypercube Graph Icon (Hypercube)
I have often heard the saying "Do not go gentle into that good night", and until now I have never actually looked up the original poem. I have often interpreted this line (without knowing the context) as a statement of legacy - To not go gentle into that good night is for one's death to be remembered, for the things a person has done to live on beyond their death. I've often used it explicitly in reference to death where the internet is concerned - death is often reflected online as just an extended silence, no questions asked, just a general sense of "I wonder what happened to that guy?". It is very easy to go gentle into the good night of the internet.

After reading up on Dylan Thomas' poem, I've had it entirely wrong. Dylan's line is an exhortation (to his father in particular) to not accept old age, and to rage against his frailties, become again the militant man he was. While it has much to do with death, it has nothing to do with legacy - it's an exhortation to live life as though you're still young.

But you know what? I think even knowing what the poem was originally about, I like my interpretation of the line. Certainly, it's a whole lot more relevant to me than the original. But just the same, I think I'll not go gentle into that good night either way, as much as I can.

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kirby1024

January 2011

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