Dylan Thomas

This essay has a total of 1447 words and 6 pages.

Dylan Thomas


Despite Dylan Thomas' often obscure images, he expresses a clear message of religious
devotion in many of his poems. He creates images that reflect God's connection with the
earth and body. In 'And death shall have no dominion,'; Thomas portrays the redemption of
the soul in death, and the soul's liberation into harmony with nature and God. Thomas best
depicts his beliefs, though abstract and complicated, to the reader with the use of
analogies and images of God's presence in nature. Appreciating the virtue of humility in
'Shall gods be said to thump the clouds,'; Thomas associates God with thunder, rainbows,
and night only to remind us that He is even more present in a simple stone as He is in
other great entities. In 'The force that through the green fuse drives the flower,';
Thomas again makes the connection of body and earth, implying that there is only one holy
force that has created all motion and life on this planet. This force, because it is so
pure and boundless, is present in the shadows and poverty of our world, as depicted in
'Light breaks where no sun shines.'; God's sacred presence in the body and earth is the
ultimate theme within these chosen poems.

In 'The force that through the green fuse drives the flower,'; Dylan Thomas illustrates
the connection between the earth, the body, and God. He discusses how both nature and man
are propelled by the same holy force and therefore are united. He does not propose the
question of how the stem grows to create a flower or how blood circulates within the body,
but rather what is the ultimate force behind all motion and life on the earth.

'The force that through the green fuse drives the flower / Drives my green age/…The
force that drives the water through the rocks / Drives my red blood;';

In these analogies, Thomas humbles the human race and depicts God's presence in all
natural things, including humans. Thomas reveals that we are not a separate entity, but
only part of a greater existence.

Aside from the holy force that propels the world, Thomas also examines how we alter the
way our lives should naturally progress. Death is a stage of life; as a rose is bent or
killed by the cold so should we age and eventually die in due time. However, Thomas
analyzes human and natural death further when he writes, 'And I am dumb to tell the
crooked rose / My youth is bent by the same wintry fever.'; The difference between the
modification of the rose's life and man's is that our aging and death is sometimes
avoidable, whereas the rose dies naturally when its season is over. Our chosen lifestyles
sometimes impede the natural progression our lives should lead. We alter our lives with
our own evil and envy, and, in turn, we destroy ourselves in ways God never intended.

'And death shall have no dominion'; is another portrayal of life and death as mere stages
within the universal process. Despite the poignant analogies in this poem, the refrain has
the most significance. It is a reminder that life does not end in death, and that although
death may be unmerciful, our souls will endure regardless and be redeemed. 'Dead men naked
they shall be one / With the man in the wind and the west moon'; succinctly describes
Thomas' view of how, in death, we are as pure and naked as we are in birth, and how only
our souls (without clothing and extraneous unnatural hindrances) are redeemed to become
one with a greater existence. Once again, Thomas connects God with nature. He reveals that
because God is present in nature, when we die our souls are given to God and therefore
also given to the beauty of nature. Thomas also explores the grace and glory of the
afterlife, where 'Though they go mad they shall be sane,/…Though lovers be lost love
shall not;';

In spite of the use of abstract ideas such as love, religion, and death in the other poems
relating to this theme, Thomas's analogies of the gods with thunder, rainbows, rain, and
night demonstrate how nature and the weather are affected by God's presence. In 'Shall
gods be said to thump the clouds,'; Thomas asks whether the gods are thumping the clouds
in thunder or weeping when it rains. Illustrating God's presence in all natural events,
glorious or not, Thomas neglects to answer his own questions in the first three stanzas,
but indirectly answers them in the last.

'It shall be said that gods are stone. / Shall a dropped stone drum on the ground, / Flung
gravel chime? Let the stones speak / With tongues that talk all tongues.';

In this stanza, Thomas reveals his own portrayal of God's humility and universal domain.
Because God is present in all of nature, He is present in the simplest stone as well as
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