The Force That Through the Green Fuse Drives the Flower Questions and Answers
by Dylan Thomas

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Symbolism in Thomas' "Force That Drives..." Some of the best uses of symbolism: • “Red blood” is homogenous to “green age” from the first stanza – they both represent life and vivacity. • The speaker can be referring to a ship where the “shroud” is one of the ropes that support a ship’s mast; in this case the “hand’s” power is demonstrated as it controls the ship’s course. This website has even more about the story's symbolism  The Complete Literary Analysis for The Force that Through The Green Fuse Drives the Flower by Dylan Thomas

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Jamie Wheeler eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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The poem in its entirety should be considered as the cyclical nature of life and death.  Had we (or anything) never been alive, it would not ever die, obviously.  While both "forces" are present, the power of the destructive often appears to be the stronger, for death always ends life.  Still, the price paid is worth it.  For me, Thomas' poem is not morbid, just a recogition of the reality of death, a reminder of life's brevity and its worth. Some of the symbolism the speaker uses to remind us of this duality is "the lover's tomb" and "wintry fever."

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asisiphus | Student

Sorry I can't stop myself. I am awfully sorry I keep going on and on about his but have you listened to the brutal slap in your face when, finally, after you spent four verses trying to unravel the logics (and beautiful mathematical structure of the dicotomy poet-nature) he suddenly says with the whole force of a hurricane

And I am dumb to tell the lover's tomb...

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asisiphus | Student

I have read what is being said about this poem at this forum and, yes you are all right, but it grieves me that you only talk formally about the poem as an expresion of Thomas's conception on existence.

It is very clear: the screaming fact is "the lovers tomb". HIS LOVER HAS DIED!!!! And that IS the poem. All the rest is just reflection.

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