Countless amounts of people
suffer from the loss of loved family member daily, it could be a father, a
mother, a child, or even a dog. Losing a loved one from death is a terrible
thing to have to go through. While dying, many people wish to die at home comfortably,
or while sleeping. In “Do Not Go Gentle into That Good Night” by Dylan Thomas,
the speaker begs his father to fight against death, and in “Dog’s Death” by
John Updike, the puppy attempts to hide, so she can die in peace, but the
family rushes her to the vet. By comparing and contrasting these poems, we can
see that while the dying may be content to rest, most families demand a fight.
Dylan Thomas’s “Do Not Go Gentle into That Good Night” is
a famous example of a villanelle. A villanelle is a nineteen-line poem with two
rhymes throughout, with six stanzas. The first five stanzas have three lines
each, and the last stanza has 4 lines. “Do not go gentle into that good night”
and “Rage, rage against the dying of the light” is a line that gets repeated
over and over during this poem. The poem is made of lines with ten syllables, and
it written in iambic pentameter. Dylan Thomas expresses his feelings in his
work. I think Thomas wrote “Do Not Go Gentle into That Good Night” about his
father. In this poem, it is almost impossible to separate the speaker of the poem,
and the author.
In the “Do Not Go Gentle into That Good Night” poem, the
speaker begs his father not to give into death, but to fight for his life. Since
the speaker begs, the reader assumes that his dying father is not fighting
while the son is speaking to him. The second stanza, “Though wise men at their
end know dark is right,” means that intelligent people do not give in easily.
“Dog’s Death” by John Updike, does not follow strict
structuring. The poem is a five four-line stanza, which is twenty lines long. The
only repeated phrase in this poem is “Good Dog”, and it is mentioned in the last
line of the first stanza, and the last line of the last stanza. Every line has
between ten to thirteen syllables, and there isn’t a visible pattern. The tone of
sympathy and sadness throughout the poem isn’t just for the family losing the dog,
but for the dog losing the family. Updike is not a poet, his is an author.
In “Dog’s Death” the focus is on a young, unnamed puppy. The
young pup is just starting to understand the use of the newspaper. When the
puppy didn’t feel good, they “teased her with play,” thinking she was just
feeling ill, and not knowing they were causing more harm than good. As soon as the
family realized the pup was not just feeling ill that she was injured, they decided
to take her to the veterinarian. A dog will never let their loyalty to their owners
down, even when they are close to being dead.
Both “Dog’s Death” and “Do Not Go Gentle into That Good
Night” are good poems, one is less structured, and the other is a specific type
of poem. Poems are a powerful version of a story, but the important parts get
left out. Updike is mainly known for his books and stories rather than his
poetry. Even though both are poems, the main difference for the two is the
structure. “Do Not Go Gentle into That Good Night” is different from “Dog’s
Death.” Thomas focuses on the dying man, while Updike focuses on the young
puppy, both acknowledge the certainty of death, but they refuse to give into
A poem is a story in concentrated form and when the poems
“Do Not Go Gentle into That Good Night” and “Dog’s Death” are compared at their
most basic level in style and form. These poems acknowledge the certainty of
death, but at the same time disregard any odds of letting death comes easy.
Suffering from the loss of a loved one is a terrible thing to go through, and I
wouldn’t wish it on anyone.