Dylan Thomas’ “Rage, rage against the dying of the light”

In 1963, when I was a sophomore at Cheltenham House School in suburban Philadelphia, I first listened to Dylan Thomas read this, his most famous poem. My biology teacher had “punished” me by expelling me for a week for egregiously reading in class. For a solid week, I was in bliss at my school’s excellent library listening to this:


“Caitlin Thomas’s autobiographies, Caitlin Thomas – Leftover Life to Kill (1957) and My Life with Dylan Thomas: Double Drink Story (1997), describe the effects of alcohol on the poet and on their relationship. “Ours was not only a love story, it was a drink story, because without alcohol it would never had got on its rocking feet”, she wrote,[147] and “The bar was our altar.”[148]Biographer Andrew Lycett ascribed the decline in Thomas’s health to an alcoholic co-dependent relationship with his wife, who deeply resented his extramarital affairs.[149] “

This Caedmon record label remains evocative. Then, at 16, it evoked in me the sense that I too must die young, a notion belied by my 72 year old age. But, we Baby Boomers on the cutting edge wrote in1968, as I did in a diatribe, never trust anyone over 30.
Today, we Baby Boomers are surprised by our longevity and by the high cost of our health care which is poised to bankrupt countries in the developed world. Understandably, but not pleasantly, younger generations boast of the Corona virus, “Baby Boom remover.”
This is New York City’s White Horse Tavern where legend has it, Dylan Thomas drank himself to death from so many shot glasses.There were times during my terrible teens, that I wished for that fate. Now, that I am a grandfather, I am glad the genie was deaf to my wishes.

“Do not go gently into that good night” forever remains a helpful guide to our future death