Elegy For My Father Who Is Not Dead Poem Analysis

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There are many poems that discuss the relationship between a poet and their parents. The poets Andrew Hudgins and Dylan Thomas were in their late 30s when they wrote poems about their fathers. Thomas ' father was ill during the time that he wrote the poem. It is unknown if Hudgin 's father was ill during writing of his poem (Kirszner & Mandell 890-891). Andrew Hudgin 's poem, “Elegy for My Father, Who is Not Dead,” and Dylan Thomas ' poem, “Do not go gentle into that good night,” explore their feelings of their fathers ' imminent deaths. The themes of the two poems are the same in that they are both poems about anticipating the loss of a parent. The fathers in these poems appear to be at the end of their life. Similarly, both poets…show more content…
Throughout the poem “Elegy For My Father, Who is Not Dead,” death is symbolized as a trip. Hudgins believed that his father was at peace with his own death because of his Christian belief that he would continue living in heaven once he passed away on earth: “In the sureness of his faith, he talks / about the world beyond this world / as though his reservations have / been made I think he wants to go” (Lines 3-6). Hudgins writes in his poem that he cannot be at peace with his father’s death because he does not share these beliefs with him: “I do not think he is right.” (Line 13). Thomas sees his father 's death as the last time he will ever see him again: “I see myself on deck, convinced his ship 's gone down, while he 's convinced / I 'll see him standing on the dock” (Lines 18-20). Unlike Hudgins, Dylan Thomas does not speak about his religious belief. He briefly mentions that he prays that his father will fight until his last breath: “Curse, bless, me now with your fierce tears, I pray” (Line 17). Although praying is a part of most religious beliefs, the reader cannot assume that the poet or his father is a…show more content…
In the poem “Do not go gentle into that good night,” the poet uses a metaphor to compare death as “night” and “dying of the light.” Dylan Thomas repeats the lines “Do not go gentle into that good night” and “Rage, rage against the dying of the light” in each stanza to emphasize that all men should not accept death, but fight it until their last breath. He describes four types of dying men before addressing his father. First, he states that intelligent men that know death is near and have not had any impact on society still fight to live: “though wise men at their end know dark is right, / Because their words had forked no lightning they / do not go gentle into the good night.” (Lines 4-6). Then, Thomas states that good men also fight for their life. Even on their death bed they talk about how they could have done more good deeds in their life: “Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright / their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay” (Lines 7-8). Next, he describes men that lived life to the fullest and learned they were ill when it was too late; but they still fight for their lives: “Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight, / And learned, too late, they grieved it on its way,” (Lines 9-10). Last, he describes very ill men who can no longer see, but are still happy be alive: “Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight / Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay,” (Lines 13-14). Thomas finally addresses his father and alerts the reader
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