"'Carpe Diem'('seize the day') is a Latin phrase which has come to denote an important literary motif especially common in lyric poetry: the encouragement to make the most of present life while it lasts, or to 'live for the moment," (The UVic Writer's Guide). Both Robert Frost's "Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening" and Dylan Thomas's "Do Not Go Gentle" explore the idea that people should attempt to live life to its fullest. Thomas's poem, written to his father, employs a very emotional, pleading style that deeply appeals to the audience, while Frost's poem, a series of thoughts about his own eventual death, exhibits a more pensive, practical, subtle style that craftily forces the audience to think of their own eventual demise. The themes of the two poems are similar in that both explain that death is impending, that people should not take for granted the time they have left on earth, and that people need courage to face death and to realize when death can wait. Thomas, however, strongly believes that people should take an active role in what happens to them during their lives as evident in his fervent, cogent tone, while Frost believes that each person has an appropriate time to die, and that people should try to accomplish their obligations before they let themselves give in to death's temptation.
"Do Not Go Gentle" is an emotional plea to Dylan's aging father to stay alive and fight death, without altering his individualism. In other words, Dylan wants his father to take his life into his own hands and control his own destiny. "Rage, rage against the dying of the light" (Thomas 2570), a line that is repeated throughout the poem, best su...
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Holbrook, David. Dylan Thomas: The Code of Night. University of London: The Athlone Press, 1972. 196.
Holbrook, David. Llareggub Revisted: Dylan Thomas and the State of Modern Poetry. Cambridge: Bowes and Bowes, 1965. 100-101.
Kidder, Rushworth M. Dylan Thomas: The Country of the Spirit. Princeton: PrincetonUniversity Press, 1984. 94, 187-190, 197.
Pritchard, William H. Frost: A Literary Life Reconsidered. Amherst: The University of Massachusetts Press, 1985. 43.
Stanford, Derek. Dylan Thomas. New York: The Citadel Press, 1986. 116-118.
Thomas, Dylan. "Do Not Go Gentle." The Norton Anthology of English Literature. (1996) 2570.
Waggoner, Hyatt H. "A Writer of Poems: The Life and Work of Robert Frost," The Times Literary Supplement. April 16, 1971, 433-34.
Zverev, A. Untitled. Poetry Criticism, Vol. I. 222.
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