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Religious Uncertainty and the Cycle of Life and Death in the Poems of Dylan Thomas - Research Paper Example

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[Your full name] February 29, 2012 Dylan Thomas Dylan Thomas’s works have seen much criticism but, still, he is considered a shining star in the world of poetry. Born in Swansea, Wales, on October 27, 1914, Thomas published his first book of poetry in 1934 in which he proved his prowess in the application of poetic diction, imagery, surrealism, and personal fantasy…
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Religious Uncertainty and the Cycle of Life and Death in the Poems of Dylan Thomas

Download file to see previous pages... His works, published in his teenage between 1930 and 1934, portray the struggle between crisis of his life, like finding his own identity which is typical of teenage, and himself. His musical writing style was infatuated with the sound and rhythm of words, and their manifold meanings. The richness of meaning often became illogical, and the innovatory syntax depicting celestial and sexual descriptions made his poetry somewhat hard to understand. The themes of religious uncertainty and the cycle of life and death may have arisen from some catastrophic life events, like the marriage of his love and his relationship with his father. When he travelled to London and Wales between 1934 and 1936, the years of publication of Eighteen Poems and Twenty-five poems respectively, he met a lot of literary personalities and started an affair with the poet and novelist, Pamela Hansford Johnson, who later on got married to the novelist C.P. Snow. This incident made Thomas a heart-broken hard drinker. Thomas had always felt a lot of difficulty in writing first-rate poetry and to be considered as a poet (Poetry Foundation). This also led him to plagiarize at times. Thomas started bringing elements of sadness, war, and financial failures in his poetry when he moved to a borrowed house in Wales with his wife. When Thomas married Caitlin Macnamara in 1937, they were impoverished. They moved to Laugharne, Wales and remained there till Thomas died in 1953. The monetary troubles that they encountered, like the recurrent borrowing of lodgings, started overlapping his artistic style of writing. Admirers and critics started seeing a drift in his poetry in which he, then, talked about his love for his wife, child, dwelling, and death. War, which broke out in Europe in 1939, became a noticeable subject of his poetry published in his third book, the Map of Love. However, due to war, the work was a failure. These external circumstances added to his conception of life and death, and religious uncertainties that showed themselves in his later works. Thomas’s relationship with his father is also of particular interest in understanding his style of writing (Kabra, Mutoko and Mendonca). ‘Do Not Go Gentle into That Good Night’, is a villanelle he wrote in 1945 for his father, D.J. Thomas, who was struggling with cancer. It was a 19-line poem and consisted of five tercets and a quatrain on two rhymes. The first and third lines of the first tercet recurred alternately as a catchphrase finishing the subsequent stanzas, and connected as the last couplet of the quatrain. In this poem, Thomas addressed his own father as he moved toward sightlessness and death. The relationship showed Thomas's philosophical admiration for his father's adamant intellectual autonomy, which was now under control of poor health. Having emotionally moved and agitated, Thomas made himself show his emotions and respect in the intricate structure of the villanelle. His musical writing style made the five tercets lead by a quatrain, with the opening and ending lines of the stanza coming alternately as the ending lines of the next stanzas. The recurring lines collected into a couplet at the last part of the quatrain. We see only two rhymes and ten syllables in each line. He talked about wild men, good men, and grave men in this ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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