Views of Death and Loss in the Poems of Pablo Neruda and Dylan Thomas
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Death has inspired poets across time and space, language barriers, and cultures allowing them to create transcendent works that resonate with many individuals. Two poets whose works incorporate the theme of death are Dylan Thomas (1914-1953), a Welsh poet and writer, and Pablo Neruda (1904-1973), a Chilean poet, diplomat, and politician. Thomas's "Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night," one of his most famous poems, focuses on Thomas's struggle to come to terms with his father's death. Neruda's poem, "The Dead Woman" focuses on the poets resolve to overcome the loss of the woman he loves. Both "Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night" and "The Dead Woman" demonstrate how each poet views death and how he is able to come to terms with the loss of a loved one.
Thomas wrote "Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night" shortly before his father's death. In the poem, Thomas supplicates his father to fight against his instinct and desire to give in to death through various appeals. Thomas argues, "Old age should burn and rave at close of day" (Thomas 2). Through this statement, Thomas maintains that despite one's age, there is a desire to fight against death, whether because one is afraid to face the inevitable or because one wishes to live as long as they can. Thomas provides his father with various examples of different types of men, who despite their differences share a common goal. He describes how "wise men" who "at their end know dark is right," "Good men, the last wave by, crying