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Life and Death in the Works of Dylan Thomas

            Thomas is regard as a modern writer, but not many critics agree about what kind of poetry he wrote. He has been described as a surrealist, a primitive, a Welsh bard, and a metaphysical poet. He is most commonly called a twentieth-century Romantic as death and the afterlife intrigued him. However, he was not surrounded by death as he was growing up. On the contrary, "He was pretty, he was spoiled, and he was the darling of the family. As far as love and attention go, he seems to have lacked nothing" (Ferris 25). Dylan Thomas was born in Swansea, Wales, on October 27, 1914. He was the only son and second child of his parents. He enjoyed his younger years in Wales, and his later works reflect his desire to relive his happy childhood. He wrote poems reminiscent of his childhood and lost innocence. However in most of Thomas" early works, themes of life and death permeate. This theme of life and death is particularly prevalent in the following three poems: "And Death Shall Have No Dominion," "Fern Hill," and "Do Not Go Gentle into That Good Night." .
             "And Death Shall Have No Dominion" is one of Thomas" best works addressing the "view that life and death are merely stages within the universal process" (Korg 19). This poem was first published in May of 1933 in the New English Weekly. This marked the first public appearance of any of his works. Many critics agree that it is by far the most significant from a religious point of view (Magill 69). Death shall have no power over life is the main idea that Thomas is trying to get across in this poem. The poem is broken down into three different stanzas. The first stanza is centered on the fact that men will die in many ways and places and their bodies will return to the elements and be scattered. Thomas says in the poem, "Though they sink through the sea they shall rise again; / Though lovers be lost love shall not" (7-8). This passage means that although every man is going to die, love will never die.

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