Go Now So Gently Into That Good Night! Co-write With Sheila Kline

Go Now So Gently Into That Good Night! Co-write With Sheila Kline

A Poem by Rick Puetter
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Inspired by “Do Not Go Gently Into That Good Night”, Dylan Thomas, 1914-1953

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This image is in the public domain and is available for free use, without attribution.

 

We recently learned that a writer and friend of Writer’s Café is facing his final days with friends and family.  And in the knowledge that words are only words, and that oft times even the most graceful of words utterly fail, we offer our most heartfelt prayers.  Our deepest respect.

 

 

Go now so gently into that good night!

 

     Inspired by “Do Not Go Gently Into That Good Night”, Dylan Thomas, 1914-1953

 

Go now so gently into that good night,

Unerring faith holds steady at night’s eve;

Soar, soar into the harbor of the light.

 

And at life’s end, the wise hold good as right,

And they revere the grace that good works weave;

Go now so gently into that good night.

 

And at death’s door, good men, they cry how bright

Their trust held strong, a pow'r that ne’er deceives;

Soar, soar into the harbor of the light.

 

Sage men encompass goodness in its might,

And virtue through that faith they do receive;

Go now so gently into that good night.

 

Brave men, near death, who have fought the good fight,

Their journey comes and yet they do not grieve;

Soar, soar into the harbor of the light.

 

And you, Dear Friend, now readied to take flight,

Rejoice with me as life doth take its leave;

Go now so gently into that good night.

Soar, soar into the harbor of the light.

 

 

©2017 Sheila Bowyer Kline & Richard Puetter

All rights reserved individually and together.



Note

 

Our poem is meant to honor and contrast with Dylan Thomas’ poem “Do not go gentle into that good night,” which is repeated below.


Do not go gentle into that good night

 

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.

 

Though wise men at their end know dark is right,

Because their words had forked no lightning they

Do not go gentle into that good night.

 

Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright

Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay,

Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

 

Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight,

And learn, too late, they grieved it on its way,

Do not go gentle into that good night.

 

Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight

Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay,

Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

 

And you, my father, there on the sad height,

Curse, bless, me now with your fierce tears, I pray.

Do not go gentle into that good night.

Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

 

 

From The Poems of Dylan Thomas, published by New Directions. Copyright © 1952, 1953 Dylan Thomas. Copyright © 1937, 1945, 1955, 1962, 1966, 1967 the Trustees for the Copyrights of Dylan Thomas. Copyright © 1938, 1939, 1943, 1946, 1971 New Directions Publishing Corp. Copyright provided free for educational use.

© 2017 Rick Puetter


My Review

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Featured Review

I just re-read this, Rick, and if I didn't know you better, I'd read it almost as a testament of faith-- so much 'religious' imagery: 'unerring faith, grace, goodness, revere...'. I'm sure you meant a different connotation, but '...soar, soar into the harbor of the light' '? That, logically it seems to me, can only be taken literally for if death is extinction, if one has no eternal self, then all else is moot and meaningless, including whatever was left behind, including reputation, good works, etc.-- Absurd actually, as Camus and some of the brave atheists point out. Still, I like your poem much more than D.T.'s.

Posted 3 Years Ago


2 of 2 people found this review constructive.

Rick Puetter

2 Years Ago

Rereading this again, myself. Now this is a joint poem with my friend and author, Sheila Klein. Sh.. read more
Nolo Segundo

2 Years Ago

Methinks thou do protest too much, my friend--a bit like rationalization, it seems to mine ears--and.. read more
Rick Puetter

2 Years Ago

Well, I'm surprised you think I protest too much. These are my honest and open feelings. And I kno.. read more



Reviews

hi Rick! I noticed a review you left on one of Christine's poems and had not seen you around. Read your about me and have to say i am intrigued .. i love the arts/science connection .. i think it is inevitable .. a very belated welcome to the Cafe' .. ;) the Dylan Thomas quote and poem are favorites of mine ... i am 72 and each day i wake i strive to hold fast what i have left .. but your poem is the groundwork and the reward .. i love it .. so inspiring ... this line especially for me:
"And at life’s end, the wise hold good as right," .. and you hold that theme throughout .. the value of a life lived making hard "good" choices lends the practice and cornerstone one must have, says i, to soar into the Light .. so glad to have met you and read this one .. i know of several people here who have passed on .. they are all missed eh!? ..a wonderful prayer and tribute ... courageous i would say ..
E.


Posted 6 Months Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

It's a fine line between influence and just straight riding the f**k out of somebodies coat tails.

Posted 6 Months Ago


Rick Puetter

6 Months Ago

Dave, I seem to have gotten you really angry at me. So sorry. This poem was not my idea at all. I.. read more
My father and mother both went "gentle into that good night"---
at 97 and 92....they had both engaged in long productive lives and 70 years together.
Neither was a rabid poetry fan, but they both would have liked this poem for its rhythm and rhyme scheme.
It is appealing to that side of us that wants to find peace at the end. Hopeful.
j.

Posted 8 Months Ago


2 of 2 people found this review constructive.

Beautifully penned. A fine tribute to Dylan Thomas and a great contrast. I think a peaceful death far more appealing than fighting it tooth and nail, when it is inevitable. Good to read this collab.

Chris

Posted 9 Months Ago


2 of 2 people found this review constructive.

I was talking to my daughter on the phone today about Dylan Thomas. She was telling me about a bar called The White Horse and it made me think of Thomas and his death. I like the transposition of the two pieces and I think you did a good job of offering a dissenting opinion. I've always said I want to burn out like an autumn leaf, every atom of my being, resplendent in color and beauty. That's the way to go. I enjoyed the read my friend, F.

Posted 1 Year Ago


2 of 2 people found this review constructive.

This is a great piece of work Rick. You have achieved in great style your aim of honouring and contrasting Dylan Thomas's great poem. Your friend would be proud of your achievement. A final parting is a time for reflection and although some rage against the dying of the light, hopefully some rejoicing too.
Recently I took up a similar challenge with a reworking of Burn's 'To a mouse' with some trepidation.
All the best,
Alan

Posted 1 Year Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

It's been such a long time since I read any of your or Sheila's writing.. mea culpa if permitted.

If anyone needs or request inspiration from words, why not choose the sombre beauty of Dylan's poem. I know he's not everyone's favourite but to hear him read his own words is, for me -- momentary step in space,

Your combined skills at and upon the written word has always been incredible - this one of the best of goodness knows how many.. Death should be a drifting off to gentle oblivion with appropriate soft fanfare. Sadly, tragically there is little justice in life, so same follows at death. Too many deaths take life from countries, lovers, families et al so that comfort comes at the most terrible cost. Jeartbreak is loud, vicious, angry, helpless.. wretched. To each his/her own.. the end is what it is. The saddest and most vicious pain of all pain.

I don't draw quotes from a collaboration, tis too unsubtle.especially when a piece is as Whole as can be.

Posted 1 Year Ago


2 of 2 people found this review constructive.

I just re-read this, Rick, and if I didn't know you better, I'd read it almost as a testament of faith-- so much 'religious' imagery: 'unerring faith, grace, goodness, revere...'. I'm sure you meant a different connotation, but '...soar, soar into the harbor of the light' '? That, logically it seems to me, can only be taken literally for if death is extinction, if one has no eternal self, then all else is moot and meaningless, including whatever was left behind, including reputation, good works, etc.-- Absurd actually, as Camus and some of the brave atheists point out. Still, I like your poem much more than D.T.'s.

Posted 3 Years Ago


2 of 2 people found this review constructive.

Rick Puetter

2 Years Ago

Rereading this again, myself. Now this is a joint poem with my friend and author, Sheila Klein. Sh.. read more
Nolo Segundo

2 Years Ago

Methinks thou do protest too much, my friend--a bit like rationalization, it seems to mine ears--and.. read more
Rick Puetter

2 Years Ago

Well, I'm surprised you think I protest too much. These are my honest and open feelings. And I kno.. read more
Well, I do love the contrast. I've worked for the past five years in hospice situations, and I've only seen people go gently. I have yet to see one raging, including my own father who, against all odds, went gently.

Posted 3 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Well done, both of you. Would but death were a pleasant experience. No one ever comes back to tell us. But your poem is full of power and optimism. Perhaps, when the physical lights go, we might see the celestial light. I love your phrase, 'the harbour of the light.'

Posted 4 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.


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Added on March 19, 2017
Last Updated on March 21, 2017

Author

Rick Puetter
Rick Puetter

San Diego, CA



About
So what's the most important thing to say about myself? I guess the overarching aspect of my personality is that I am a scientist, an astrophysicist to be precise. Not that I am touting science.. more..

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A Poem by Rick Puetter