“Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night” by Dylan Thomas is the poet’s plea to his dying father to fight against his impending death. For this reason, the theme was very important to the author, as it conveyed is grief over the pending loss of the parent who was so dear to him. Dylan Thomas's father died shortly after the poem was published.
It is also important for society as a whole because it is generally considered Dylan Thomas's most famous poem. Moreover, the poet also died shortly after it was published. Thus, there were few further works from a poet who seemed to have such promising talent. He was only 39 and therefore did not have much time to fulfill the promise of “Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night” and the other works he produced during his brief career. The poem became the inspiration for a musical piece written by Igor Stravinsky shortly after Thomas's death as a memoriam to Thomas. It has also been quoted in several theatrical or performance art pieces. For instance, it has even been referenced in popular culture in films such as Independence Day and Interstellar, among other musical, theatrical, or cinematic pieces.
It is also important to society as a whole because Dylan Thomas was generally regarded as one of the most important Welsh poets of the 20th century and this is perhaps the best known poems among his relatively small body of work. According to the Poetry Foundation, “Dylan Thomas is famous for his acutely lyrical and emotional poetry, as well as his turbulent personal life.”
The theme of death is important to the poet and in this particular poem, which consists of six stanzas. Thomas repeats the phrase “Rage, rage against the dying of the light” four times, emphasizing the importance of fighting although the body is weary and might be ready to succumb to death quietly. No, says the poet. Fight the temptation to succumb. Fight the “dying of the light.”
The phrase the “dying of the light” has a double meaning here. On the one hand, it means death itself, which extinguishes the light of life. In addition, Thomas’s father was going blind towards the end of his life and so it also has the very literal meaning because the senior Thomas was experiencing the actual dying of the light.