Computers, Programming, Technology, Music, Literature

And Death Shall Have No Dominion by Dylan Thomas

leave a comment »

 

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;
Through 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.

Notes:
Source – http://www.helium.com/items/2328525-poetry-analysis-and-death-shall-have-no-dominion-by-dylan-thomas 

The poem “And Death Shall Have No Dominion”, by Dylan Thomas celebrates the undying and eternal strength of the human spirit. It is because of this strength that death does not claim ultimate victory over humanity. The dead are never truly lost to us but live on through the beauty of their memory and spirit. The struggle continues.

Three unrhymed verses make up the work. Beautiful universal imagery focuses on the sea, bones, and burial. Each verse starts and ends with the phrase “And death shall have no dominion.” Even as Dylan brings us face to face with the physical reality of death, he disarms it. He gives death meaning by allowing us to see the beauty behind it, especially the beauty of human courage and dignity. Timeless values will live on in the stories of those gone before. It has been said that to live on in the memory of loved ones is to never die.

In the first verse, the poet shows that, in death all are one. Race and skin color have no more meaning when skin is no more. After death, the body is united with nature. “Dead men naked they shall be one/With the man in the wind and the west moon;” In death, men shall be naked, as they are from their mothers’ wombs. In death, the innocence of Eden is restored. It is here that men become the stuff of legends. Here a man becomes part of a constellation, part of a grand design bigger than himself. Though his bones are naked, they may thus become clothed in eternal glory instead of mortal skin. “When their bones are picked clean and the clean bones gone,/They shall have stars at elbows and foot;” Their foibles will be forgotten and their glories remembered. Their confusion forgotten, they will attain an eternal perspective of clarity. Those who have drowned in a universal sea of human sorrow shall be restored and taste joy again. Lovers will be reunited. “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; “

In the second verse, Dylan takes the reader to a graveyard on the sea floor. The dead here appear to be either sailors or other souls lost at sea. These dead died bravely, having suffered in their lives. The wheel of time has tested, tortured, and tried, but not broken them. “Strapped to a wheel, yet they shall not break; Faith in their hands shall snap in two, And the unicorn evils shall run them through; Split all ends up they shan’t crack;” The unicorn is a very old and symbolic motif sometimes used to symbolize Christ or God. Has God or religion let these souls down? “Unicorn horns are said to be harder than diamonds and to be able to neutralize poisons. Unicorn tears can heal both physical wounds and sorrows of the heart.” The refrain “And death shall have no dominion.” symbolizes this triumph.

In the final verse, the poem wraps up on land, by the seashore. Dylan draws out the fact that the dead are no longer aware of the physical elements that once made up their home with the words “No more may gulls cry at their ears Or waves break loud on the seashores” Yet new life may spring up in their place, an intrepid life like a flower that “lift its head to the blows of the rain;” Their innocence shall burst through like daisies. This innocence ultimately wins over even the sun, breaking it down. To break down the sun is to steal death’s power. The phrase “Heads of the characters hammer through daisies;” implies that it is the character of those dead that hammers through the pain until innocence breaks through. The daisy flower, pure and childlike, pushes stubbornly through the hard earth of the grave to rise defiantly and bloom.”  Break in the sun till the sun breaks down.” The daisy blooms as dawn breaks, symbolizing the burst of innocence or day star as the night loses out. In the same way, death starts to lose its power as humanity regains purity and embraces hope, thus discarding pain and hate. To break in implies breaking in a horse until it serves the master, instead of the other way around. In this way, death can be made to serve man. “And death shall have no dominion.”

 

P.S. Notes borrowed from an unknown source on the world wide web. Poem is posted here for relish and educational purposes, and is copyrighted to respective Authors and Publishers.

Advertisements

Written by gmaran23

March 13, 2013 at 6:41 pm

Posted in literature, love, poems

Tagged with , ,

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: