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And Death Shall Have No Dominion Analysis



Author: poem of Dylan Thomas Type: poem Views: 19


And death shall have no dominion.
Dead men naked they shall be one
With the man in the wind and the west moon;
When their bones are picked clean and the clean bones gone,
They shall have stars at elbow and foot;
Though they go mad they shall be sane,
Though they sink through the sea they shall rise again;
Though lovers be lost love shall not;
And death shall have no dominion.

And death shall have no dominion.
Under the windings of the sea
They lying long shall not die windily;
Twisting on racks when sinews give way,
Strapped to a wheel, yet they shall not break;
Faith in their hands shall snap in two,
And the unicorn evils run them through;
Split all ends up they shan't crack;
And death shall have no dominion.

And death shall have no dominion.
No more may gulls cry at their ears
Or waves break loud on the seashores;
Where blew a flower may a flower no more
Lift its head to the blows of the rain;
Through they be mad and dead as nails,
Heads of the characters hammer through daisies;
Break in the sun till the sun breaks down,
And death shall have no dominion.

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||| Analysis | Critique | Overview Below |||




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I want to lie in a grave where rain and lighting falls and strikes for etrrnity above. How comforting the fact the world continues to turn.

| Posted on 2013-11-24 | by a guest


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Wow what great advice you have reveiced, if you are wanting him to try something here is two of my ideas.I used to work in a group home and I am very aware of teaching my children to pick the right people to ask help from and seek out. So we play a game at the mall or where ever we may be, I ask them to find a safe person to ask directions from, what time it is, etc. I just want them to feel comfortable asking people for help if they ever need it. Remember that kid that was lost in the mountains and hid for two days because his parents told him don't talk to strangers! Ugh! I would feel so bad! Anyway sometimes when we make it in to a game its funner for the kids.Second, maybe try a FHE where you ALL decide you are going to try to do something you have been nervous to or even afraid to try, Now here is the important part, your little guy's thing that he tries does not have to be to not be shy it can be anything! But the key here is to build his confidence that if he can do this then maybe he can do that and so on, plus watching others do something they are afraid of might help too, they are boys,, competition oozes from them! By the way, I am in constant awe of what an amazing woman, wife, mother, friend you are!! Have confidence in yourself and the Lord that he will help you, Your awesome!! and totally qualified!

| Posted on 2013-11-16 | by a guest


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That really carptues the spirit of it. Thanks for posting. x x

| Posted on 2013-11-14 | by a guest


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Full of salient points. Don't stop bevinlieg or writing!

| Posted on 2013-11-13 | by a guest


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...Bang bang, he shot me downBang bang, I hit the groundBang bang, that awful soundBang bang, my baby shot me down.I know this is not the place for kakaore, but when I saw those shoes and someone here mentioned Cher, I just couldn't resist..

| Posted on 2013-11-12 | by a guest


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And Death Shall Have No Dominion is wirtten by Dylan THomas

| Posted on 2013-05-04 | by a guest


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Dylan Thomas wrote many of his poems in this style; deep, meaningful, and not clear at first. As you divulge into the poem, you have use your own mind and thoughts to truly figure out what he means. There is no correct answer, only your opinion.
Thomas explains that taking away your body is not breaking you down. When you are dead, you are not defeated. This speaks of the eternal strength of spirit. Death strips you of physical attributes, but not of your soul. He explains, even after the bones are picked clean and crumbled to dust, your soul is still there, alive and well. In the second stanza, Dylan Thomas talks about physical torture (Twisting on racks when sinews give way, Strapped to a wheel, yet they shall not break; Faith in their hands shall snap in two) and explains that even physical torture cannot destroy us. The last few lines suggest that when you are dead, you will not be able to enjoy the rushing of waves by the shore, smell flowers, and hear gulls cry above them. But, he explains, that is okay because when the sun breaks, it will be the Judgment Day and everyone you missed or loved will be with you.
In the first and last stanza, Dylan Thomas explains that the dead may be angry because they cannot be with the ones they love (Though they go mad they shall be sane/ though they be mad and as dead as nails). In the first stanza, he says Though they sink through the sea they shall rise again. This could be referring to a drowned person, or a person who lost a love one to the ocean, and that this person will never really be dead, because in dying they rose to be with God (they shall rise again). Maybe that person is feeling alone or sad or guilty, but after sinking they can rise to be with their lost loved ones.

| Posted on 2013-04-14 | by a guest


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A quote from Romans 6 ESV for comparisons sake:
4 We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life. 5 For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we shall certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his. 6 We know that our old selfwas crucified with him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin. 7 For one who has died has been set free from sin. 8 Now if we have died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. 9 We know that Christ, being raised from the dead, will never die again; death no longer has dominion over him. 10 For the death he died he died to sin, once for all, but the life he lives he lives to God. 11 So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus. 12 Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, to make you obey its passions. 13Do not present your members to sin as instruments for unrighteousness, but present yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life, and your members to God as instruments for righteousness. 14 For sin will have no dominion over you, since you are not under law but under grace.

| Posted on 2013-02-04 | by a guest


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The poem tells how death strips the individual soul of all attributes and frees it into the vast starry spaces of the living universe. Death also frees the individual from entropy--the inevitable decay that every material body is subject to. Thus, long after the bones are picked clean of all traces of tissues, long after even the bones crumble to dust, the soul remains..enjoying the vastness of the universe (with \'stars at elbow and foot\'). Lines 6 to 8 deploy the mode of paradox to point out death\'s ultimate defeat in doing away with the soul. Dylan Thomas echoes the Bible, and I believe also refers to Milton\'s \'Lycidas\' (though they sink through sea they shall rise again) to drive home his point. Dylan denies death any dominion even under the winding currents of the sea. Those who have drowned, and whose bones lie scattered on the sea-bed, shall not perish \'windily\'.(Wind-y-ly or windi(ng)ly--There is obviously an word-play involved. May be it suggests that those who died by drowning--without wind--shall not alwys lie thus windlessly/under the winding currents. Over the next six lines Thomas refers to several medieval torture-machines, and asserts that no physical torture can destroy or even harm the soul. It reminds me of the Gita where the soul is described as impenetrable by any weapons. The phrase \'unicorn evils\' probably means \'evil in its purest form\', but the word unicorn invariably brings up the image of a very sharp and pointed horn. Thomas uses this association to stress the invulnerability of the soul to evils. The third person plural \'they\' refers to all men who have died so far, under whichsoever circumstances. The last stanza begins with a note of lament, it seems, as it describes the joys of the senses which will no more be available to the soul. But no, the tone of lament is not final. \'They\' may be dead as nails, but they still continue to drive their heads through the daisies that spring over their heads. They continue to live through the multitudinous living universe. With great patience they will continue to tame the wild sun (a symbol for the power exercised by time), till the sun itself breaks down--till the universe itself dissolves and Judgment Day comes.

| Posted on 2012-08-01 | by a guest


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Simply put, from my view, do not fear death, it is not final.

| Posted on 2012-07-07 | by a guest


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To offer some help in your understanding of this poem I would suggest you should also read John Donne\'s sonnet \" Death be not proud...\"
I think Dylan thomas took both St Paul writings and John Donne\'s sonnet as a starting point. The last line of the sonnet brings about the general meaning of the two poems, connecting the past( since St Paul and before),17th cent., 20th cent. to the future, when there will be no more Death, when Death deisappears.

| Posted on 2012-06-06 | by a guest


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All of the above readings seem to have some merit, except where they insist on one reading over another, which is the tired old curse of dogma. I will soon be reading this at the funeral of a dear friend, as a Buddhist, because I love its sheer power. It belongs to no-one, least of all the narrow and dogmatic. And ideology shall have no dominion.

| Posted on 2012-04-05 | by a guest


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\"When the bones are picked clean and the clean bones gone\" and the entire last stanza, especially \"may a flower no more\" and \"when the sun breaks down\" indicate that he is saying the universe will one day end--it will die. After than, death can no long exist.

| Posted on 2011-04-24 | by a guest


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Someone asked about the meaning of \"heads of the characters hammer though daisies.\" For me, this image combines two things: the act of writing (i.e., the characters hammering are the letters on a typewriter being hammered into the page), and to the euphemism phrase \"pushing up daisies\" (referring to one who is in the grave). He is using the creative act of writing as a weapon against death. ... er... something like that!

| Posted on 2011-04-04 | by a guest


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Too much effort is being placed on an analysis and interpretation of what Dylan Thomas meant or intended to convey in this great poem. It should be read plainly in its literal sense- “Death shall have no dominion”, dominion being defined as power and authority. It is not a religious poem but clearly, Thomas is talking about the destruction of death and the triumph of a new beginning in a real spiritual sense, a theme that is common to all major world religions (Christianity or Islamism to name but two of the largest). The idea of newness of life after death is at the core of most varieties of religious experiences. In this sense, if the poem is to be analyzed then to evade its central redemptive theme is wrong. A true analysis can only be from a spiritual/religious perspective.
Dylan Thomas was Welsh. By virtue of his background, he would probably have been steeped in Welsh Methodism which at the time of his youth was vibrant across the valleys and hills of Wales. Despite his later licentiousness he would have known the scriptures. To move his poem away from this base is, therefore, flawed and does not do him or his poem justice. “And Death Shall Have No Dominion” is centered on two Pauline texts from the New Testament: Roman Ch. 6, vv 7, 8, 9 from which Thomas crafts the words of his text:
“He that is dead is freed from sin/ now if we be dead with Christ, we believe that we should also live with him/knowing that Christ being raised from the dead dieth no more; death hath no dominion over him”.
The same theme is re-echoed by Paul in his letter to the Corinthians (1st Corinthian, Ch. 15, vv 55-56:
“Death is swallowed up in victory/ O Death where is thy sting? O grave where is thy victory.”
This is what Thomas intended to convey in his high soaring graphic imagery,
“…Dead men mean naked they shall be one
With the man in the wind and the west moon;
When their bones are picked clean and the clean bones gone,
They shall have stars at elbow and foot”
I would never teach this poem without making reference to its contextual foundation. To say it is not about the resurrection and the life in the “world to come” is delusional and reflects a retreat from basic sources in the history of ideas.
Let’s not fool ourselves in believing otherwise.
Posted By A Guest

| Posted on 2010-11-28 | by a guest


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This poem is referring to romans 6:9. It is talking about how death has no dominion because Jesus already defeated death, hell and the grave and has risen and how we, too, can have dominion over death as well if we decide to follow Jesus. The portion of the poem that says \"They shall have stars at elbow and foot\" speaks of heaven and how christians will receive new bodies (Revelation 17). Also since the elbow and foot are some of the most worn down parts of the body he chose them. In the second stanza it says “And the unicorn evils run them through.” Since unicorns are generally pure and innocent beings, Thomas uses the word evil to describe them instead of just saying pure evil. Through the author\'s use of elaborate symbolic inversion, the reader is forced to paint a more descriptive image in their mind.

| Posted on 2010-10-18 | by a guest


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Some posts have tried to explain the meaning of \"They shall have stars at elbow and foot\".
They have failed however. What Dylan Meant in that sentence is this:
Elbow and foot is obviously an expression of being completely surrounded and environed by stars. Stars being the original place of birth. For all atoms in our bodies began their existence in stars. This is telling that he had a firm grasp of science.
\"has chosen space to represent heaven, so the space they never had in life because death was lurking the now have in space. So space in the astrological sense also means space as in space around us. So by saying stars at elbow AND foot, we know the guy is in space, metaphorically meaning heaven. So we now know because he\'s in heaven, we know that death never had \'diminion\' over him, so it couldnt bring him down to hell. \"
This post is an inaccurate explanation of the x saying that when people die they will no longer be limited by the physical universe and be able to have \"stars at elbow and foot\"
This is also Inaccurate as being nothing but dispersed atoms, (Star dust if you will) IS part of the physical universe. Dylan\'s Sentence of \"shall have stars at elbow and foot isn\'t even a reference to \"becoming free\" It\'s a simple statement of scientific fact on his part. \"when the bones are picked clean and the clean bones gone is an actual process of a carcass returning ever closer to the state of raw dispersed matter. When a person dies. Their actual carcass becomes smaller and smaller until eventually it\'s reduced to the smallest state. Dispersed Molecules and atoms. Scientifically speaking these particles are not \"new\" In fact they were made billions of years ago in the cores of stars.
The sentence is therefore a simple statement of fact-That we become reduced to the original stuff \"stars for all intents and purposes since that is where every particle in our bodies both alive and dead were originally made. Being \"free\" would be implied with this sentence but is not the emphasis. The Emphasis is on sheer fact.
It\'s another way of saying our bodies will exist in the form of trillions of dispersed particles that were originally created in stars. Some will be inhaled in animals lungs; some will react with other organic compounds and so forth.
Now What I don\'t understand about this poem is the \"Heads of the charactors hammer thrugh daises part.

| Posted on 2010-08-19 | by a guest


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They shall have stars at elbow and foot is a allusion to Orian. As you may know, the constellation, Orion the Hunter has stars in his knee and shoulder. He is this way because the physical universe has limited him. It's saying that when people die they will no longer be limited by the physical universe and be able to have "stars at elbow and foot"

| Posted on 2010-03-24 | by a guest


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They shall have stars at elbow and foot is a allusion to Orian. As you may know, the constellation, Orion the Hunter has stars in his knee and shoulder. He is this way because the physical universe has limited him. It's saying that when people die they will no longer be limited by the physical universe and be able to have "stars at elbow and foot"

| Posted on 2010-03-24 | by a guest


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Or, you could try Daniel 12:3 while we're poking and prodding Bible verses to serve our points. Do I actually think he pulled from that particular verse? No, I don't. I think that analyzing this poem is fruitless. I believe it's a case where he said what he meant and meant what he said. He contradicts himself on purpose. I don't think he's saying there is or there isn't an afterlife, and he's certainly not mocking anything. The wind will blow, the sun will burn on. We will die and everything will go about its business as always. The poem's straight forward about what it's saying. If you want to analyze, read Eliot or Roethke. But leave Thomas alone.

| Posted on 2010-01-29 | by a guest


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I agree with the former post. Thomas was mocking the idea of life after death, using Romans 6:9. I still think this is an amazing poem!!!

| Posted on 2009-12-07 | by a guest


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The previous post is retarded. Thomas was mocking the idea of life after death by paraphrasing Romans 6:9. He was conveying that death is a finality, but that it's alright because we have experienced life. The fact that we die doesn't detract from those experiences, they existed.

| Posted on 2009-04-29 | by a guest


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It means neither of them. Heaven is calassified as up above so he has chosen space to represent heaven, so the space they never had in life because death was lurking the now have in space. So space in the astrological sense also means space as in space around us. So by saying stars at elbow AND foot, we know the guy is in space, metaphorically meaning heaven. So we now know because he's in heaven, we know that death never had 'diminion' over him, so it couldnt bring him down to hell.
The line is basically another way of representing the line 'And death shall have no dominion.'

| Posted on 2009-01-29 | by a guest


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I am trying to find out whether the meaning of the line "they shall have stars at elbow and foot" is a reference to sort of astrological imagery (including tarot and the like) or whether it is to mean that they shall be clothed in some sort of divine raiment even though their bodies have been "picked clean" to the bone.
Please offer any insights.

| Posted on 2008-08-04 | by a guest




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