Facts about Dylan Thomas
Dylan Thomas Biography
Writer Dylan Marlais Thomas drank himself to death at the age of 39 and left behind some of the most celebrated poems of the 20th century, including “Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night.”
Dylan Thomas grew up in Wales and left school at the age of 16. During his teen years he wrote numerous poems and had his first poem published in 1933. He made his London reputation with his first two collections, Eighteen Poems (1934) and Twenty-five Poems (1936). During his career Thomas also wrote short stories, film scripts and radio shows, including the “play for voices,” Under Milk Wood, first performed in 1953 and published posthumously in 1954.
His poem “Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night” may be his best-remembered work. Written in 1947, it takes the form of an exhortation to his dying father. It begins “Old age should burn and rave at close of day” and ends with “Do not go gentle into that good night. / Rage, rage against the dying of the light.” Thomas’s 1952 recording A Child’s Christmas in Wales, a brief collection of youthful memories, sold modestly at first but has since become a beloved Christmas classic.
Thomas was lauded for his lyrical poems, and became a celebrity for his entertaining radio appearances and turbulent private life. It’s been said he drank as hard as he worked, and while on a lecture tour in New York he collapsed after drinking heavily at the White Horse Tavern. He was taken to St. Vincent’s Hospital and died several days later, on November 9, 1953.
Dylan Thomas married Caitlin Macnamara in 1937, and they remained married until his death in 1953. They had three children together: Llewelyn (1939–2000), Aeronwy (1943–2009, later known as the poet Aeronwy Thomas-Ellis), and Colm (1949–2012)… Musician Bob Dylan, whose real name is Robert Zimmerman, denies taking his stage name from Dylan Thomas.
Something in Common with Dylan Thomas
- Scorpio Poets (7)
- Writers born in Wales (3)
- Scorpio Writers (43)
4 Good Links
- A poetry archive has the text of "Do Not Go Gentle" and many more
- Lovely official tribute site run by his descendants
- Colorful description of his life and career
- 2004 Guardian article suggests pneumonia played a part