‘Do not go gentle into that good night’ is a powerful poem about how important it is, despite death’s inevitability, to fight against it until the bitter end.
This poem is one of the most important poems in the history of Welsh poetry. It is a powerful meditation on the human experience of aging and death, a universal theme that resonates with readers across time and culture. Additionally, the poem's message of resistance and defiance has inspired generations of readers to stand up against oppression, injustice, and despair. Finally, the poem's musicality, vivid imagery, and masterful use of form have cemented Dylan Thomas' reputation as one of the greatest poets of the 20th century.
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.
‘Sunday’ by Gillian Clarke was inspired by the poet’s personal experience of attempting to enjoy a Sunday morning but then being reminded of all the suffering that’s going on in the world.
The poem takes place in a named suburb of Cardiff, the capital city of Wales. Clarke would go on to become the National Poet of Wales in 2008.
Getting up early on a Sunday morning
leaving them sleep for the sake of peace,
the lunch pungent, windows open
‘The Hands that Signed the Paper’ is a war protest poem that derides the appalling apathy and ruthlessness of the rulers toward ordinary citizens.
Dylan Thomas is undoubtedly one of the most well-known and important welsh poets of all times, and this poem of his also uses symbols and images in a way that is quite impressive. This poem is definitely one of the better poems to come out of the repertoire of welsh poets, if not the best.
The hand that signed the paper felled a city;
Five sovereign fingers taxed the breath,
Doubled the globe of dead and halved a country;
These five kings did a king to death.
‘Climbing Cader Idris’ by Gillian Clarke celebrates the resiliency and the symbiotic relationship between individuals– representing beauty that can be found amid life’s challenges – as long as one is open to appreciate it during trying times.
Gillian Clarke is widely regarded as one of Wales' best writers. Her writing celebrates the idyllic beauty and simplicity of rural Wales. 'Climbing Cader Idris' also honors her Welsh heritage. The poetry represents Wales well by referring to the rural surroundings and alluding to the Welsh myth surrounding Lynn Cau Lake.
You know the mountain with your body,
I with my mind, I suppose.
Each, in our way, describes
the steepening angle of rock.
‘Fooled Me for Years with the Wrong Pronouns’ by Gwyneth Lewis explores an abusive relationship, with Lewis writing an anti-love poem.
This is one of the poet's best pieces and a great example of contemporary Welsh poetry. The poem is enjoyed and studied in many different countries and should be regarded as one of the best examples of the genre.
You made me cry in cruel stations,
So I missed many trains. You married others
In plausible buildings. The subsequent son
Became my boss. You promised me nothing
Explore ‘Death of a Young Woman,’ where Clarke depicts how a loved one’s death lets a person free from their inward, endless suffering.
'Death of a Young Woman,' published in the second poetry collection by Gillian Clarke, is not a typical poem about Welsh culture and countryside. It features some characters that could be from the poet's country.
He wept for her and for the hard tasks
He had lovingly done, for the short,
Fierce life she had lived in the white bed,
For the burden he had put down for good.