Friday, February 24, 2012

Rage, rage against the dying of the light

Earlier this week, I read this post.

We are often our own worst critics. It's a role we fall into, sometimes for bad reasons, but also sometimes for good reasons, like realizing our effort just isn't good enough yet.

It's much harder to take the role of your own best supporter. To slap both hands against your cheeks, blow out a big breath of air, stand up and get ready to take another hit in the stomach. To still believe that things will get better, that the world will change, that dreams come true and that, deep down, people are good.

"Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.
Though wise men at their end know dark is right,
Because their words had forked no lightning they
Do not go gentle into that good night.
Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright
Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.
Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight,
And learn, too late, they grieved it on its way,
Do not go gentle into that good night.
Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight
Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.
And you, my father, there on the sad height,
Curse, bless me now with your fierce tears, I pray.
Do not go gentle into that good night.
Rage, rage against the dying of the light."

I read Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night by Dylan Thomas when I was a kid and the poem has always stayed with me.

"Rage, rage against the dying of the light."

Them's fightin' words. Even as a kid, I recognized that.

There are times in everyone's life when, it doesn't matter who's around you or what they say or do, you have to be the one to stand up and believe.

When even that seems too hard, just concentrate on standing. On getting your feet under you, one muscle twitch at a time.

I'm not necessarily talking about writing, it could be anything. From a stutter of self-doubt to the smothering listlessness of true depression.

"Rage, rage against the dying of the light."

This line doesn't necessarily have to be talking about death. It can be any negativity that brings you down and makes you want to give up.

Life is tough, but it also provides you with the chance to meet other people, to gain new wisdom, new hope and a rush of fresh adrenaline to get you upright again when you need to be. Even if you're meeting that person through the lines of a poem they wrote long before you were born.

So tell me your fightin' words.

What helps you fight gravity when you're flat on your face and feeling so tired that you don't ever want to get up again? Were they words that someone gave you as a gift, or did you find them on your own (like I did) when I wasn't even looking for them?

Incidentally, my favourite line of that poem is: "Wild men who caught and sung the sun in flight"


  1. great post! Exactly what I needed to read.

    1. I found it funny that you wrote a similarly themed post on the same day :)

      ...great minds...?

  2. It's funny because my favorite song is "White Blank Page" by Mumford and Sons, and I think it's really because of the repeated "rage." I know it really has nothing to do with writing, but that line "A white blank page and a swelling rage" always gets me through a writer's block.

    Also, "Lead me to the truth and I will follow you with my whole life" really resonates with me... I have dropped people in a second for lying to me. Usually the lies mixed with some kind of betrayal of trust, but that's really the core of it. Every time someone has seriously lied to me, I have taken a step back and thought, "Do I really need you in my life?" I always come to the same conclusion: No. I have no room for people like that. I'm a big fan of honesty - and to me, that's what the song is all about.

    Beyond that, I've read this poem recently, so it was kind of amazing that you posted it ;)

    1. Okay, now I'm gonna have to find that song online and check it out :) It sounds pretty awesome ;)

      I can read people really well and nothing turns me off faster than a person who lies/projects a false facade. I see it as a lack of respect, and if I know someone isn't respecting me, well, then they aren't worth committing any of my time or energy.

    2. It's a pretty sweet song :)

      Unfortunately, I trust people too quickly and too much. I feel a poem about the whole scenario coming on :P So I'll probably write some kind of blog update about it.

    3. Nicely written poem :)

      Oh, and awesome song! I really enjoyed it :)

  3. Them is fightin' words for sure :-)

    I suppose my fightin' words were a gift to me from someone else, just a person I knew in a past season of my life. "Don't tell me I can't cause I'll cheat death to prove I can."

    1. Those are some awesome fighin' words, Angela. Thanks for sharing!

      I find whenever someone tells me, 'you can't do it', it just fires me up and makes me want to prove them wrong ;)

  4. yep great poem - we should always fight

    My words are "take no prisioners" they were a gift

    this quote
    can be and has been used for many things - it's the sentiment that counts

    1. Since the linked quote was so awesome, I'm posting it here:

      First they came for the communists,
      and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a communist.

      Then they came for the trade unionists,
      and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a trade unionist.

      Then they came for the Jews,
      and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a Jew.

      Then they came for me
      and there was no one left to speak out for me.

  5. I do love that poem. It always fires me up too!
    BTW, I just awarded you a Versatile Blog award and TAGGED you in a fun, short writing game. Pop over to my blog to check it out! Catherine

    1. Thanks, Catherine!

      ...for the first time ever, I have passed on a 'tag' :) So hopefully I did it correctly :)

  6. This is a part of me that I'm working on. It's a work in progress :-)

    1. Heh, for us all, I imagine :)

      I've been kicked a few times this month. Really hard.

      So I'm glad the words that helped me stand up again were useful to other people as well :) I think it helps knowing that other people out there are also in the process of gaining the courage and stamina to get up again.

      It's nice to be able to give one another a push (or some fightin' words) for when they need it next :)

  7. Nice poem! you inspired me to fight and be positive in life!;) thank you for sharing your poem!


Type me out a line of Shakespeare or a line of nonsense. Dumb-blonde-jokes & Irish jokes will make me laugh myself silly :)