The story behind the name … do not go gentle

The famous poem by Dylan Thomas has long been a favorite of mine …

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 …

The power of language and poetry to inspire is something special, and for me this verse represents everything magical about poetry. Total respect.

But there is more. When I was a child ( 9 or 10 maybe) in India, we had a closet full of old copies of Readers Digest magazines. The magazines were old even then, so they could be from the 60s and 70s. Each Reader’s digest had a longer condensed story at the end of the magazine. As I loved to read, I would spend many a lazy afternoon going through the magazines and stories.

There was one particular story about a cancer survivor that battled and overcame the disease as a runner. I think the name of the story was “Do not go Gentle”. As expected, it was an inspiring and powerful story and the spirit and courage of the author was a great match to the title. Clearly the story made a powerful impression on me even as a child, and the title stuck around in the recesses of my mind somewhere. As I grew up and went to college, I looked up the poem by Dylan Thomas and that led to a further interest in literature and poetry.

In many ways, this blog is an homage to that electrifying afternoon many many years ago when my nascent mind was introduced to the idea of human spirit, struggle and triumph.

I have tried a few times since to trace that story, but without success. Regardless, I want to thank that brave person who wrote it for the influence it had on me. 

Do not go gentle!

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *