Dylan Thomas was born in Wales in 1914 and died in New York City in 1953. In his lifetime, he wrote several collections of poetry. One of the common themes in his work was the continuing process of life and death. This process of life passing into death can be seen in his poem "Do Not Go Gently Into That Good Night". In this poem he presents how the way one lives affects the way one faces death. He uses powerful imagery and describes the life of the average man. This is done to make the poem more meaningful and familiar to the reader. .
In the first line of the poem, the most important concept of the poem is introduced. Here the term "that good night" is used to describe death. Good is used to describe death because it is seen as an end of pain or suffering. The entire first line summarizes the concept of the entire poem. By saying "do not go gentle into that good night", he is urging one not to allow death to quietly steal them, allow themselves to be taken before they are ready, or look forward to and anticipate the coming of death. He uses the terms "burn" and "rave" in line two to describe fighting against death. In line two he also uses "at the close of day" to once again refer to death. The last line of stanza one is the most important because it is a central concept repeated in every stanza. Thomas uses the word "rage" to describe an emotional impassioned fight. This fight is against "the dying of the light", yet another reference to death. Here Thomas is making a plea to fight against death and not allow it to take you.
In the second stanza, he describes "wise men" possibly meaning philosophers or authors or any educated man. In the line he uses the phrase "at their end" to mean they are dying. The phrase "know dark is right" means they know death must come and cannot be prevented. In the second line he uses the phrase "their words have forked no lightning". This means their writings or teachings have made no impact, influenced no one or caused any type of social change.