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And Death Shall Have No Dominion

Dylan Thomas

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Added by: Sal
A correction to Dylan's comment:
Jenna was right. And Death Shall Have No Dominion was published in Twenty-five Poems in 1936.
Added by: Prez
I'm no critical expert, but i somehow find myself understanding what this poem says (it might be right, it might be wrong: watevr). The first stanza, i automatically related with the final couplet of "death be not proud" by John Donne. It speaks of how dieing is juat an instant of bad followed by an eternity of good (afterlife). Thomas's insistance on using "and" i found quite intriguing. After having thought about it, i finally decided that it meant that there are so many reasons why death shall have no dominion, that he could not possibly name them all and just took some to put in this poem. The "and" implies that there is more. The second stanza, i found quite the same, as he is describing ways to die, "but they shant crack" or "they won't matter" because death shall have no dominion.

The third stanza, i found most intriguing, and this i must put in a new paragraph to emphasize it importance. I found a complete chang in mood in which at first, he is completely 100% sure that death shall have no dominion, but then he sways and says that all this good of life is gone: seagulls+seashores=ocean=peace=happiness, and since death ends the oceans, it symbolically ends happiness, so he is admitting that death in fact DOES have dominion. Towards the end, however, he tries to convince himself that death has no dominion so that he can live in peace.

Given all of this, at the end i was finally able to conclude one very important thing: the audience. We are not Thomas's audience, he is his own audience. In many of his poems, you can see that he has a problem with death and all of its uncertainties, which actually becomes a sort of obsession. In this poem, he is not trying to convince us that death shall have no dominion. He is actually trying to convince himself that death shall have no dominion so that he can live in peace and know that death will not controll him and that he WILL have an afterlife.
Added by: Anna
To Dylan Talley, for whatever reason Martin enjoyed this poem, for whatever he got out of it, was down to his interpretation. There is no wrong interpretation as long as you can back it up. Instead of chiding people for their interest in Thomas, realise you are not the authority in how ANY poetry should be interpreted

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