And Death Shall Have No Dominion

By Dylan Thomas 1914–1953 Dylan Thomas
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;   
Though 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.

Dylan Thomas, “And Death Shall Have No Dominion” from The Poems of Dylan Thomas. Used by permission of David Higham Associates, London as agents for the Trustees of the Copyrights of Dylan Thomas.

Source: The Collected Poems of Dylan Thomas (1957)

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Poet Dylan Thomas 1914–1953

POET’S REGION Wales

SCHOOL / PERIOD Modern

Subjects Living, Sorrow & Grieving, Death

Occasions Funerals

Poetic Terms Elegy, Refrain

 Dylan  Thomas

Biography

The work of Dylan Thomas has occasioned much critical commentary, although critics share no consensus on how bright his star shines in the galaxy of modern poetry. In fact, it is a curious phenomenon that so many critics seem obsessed with deciding once and for all whether Thomas's poems belong side by side with those of T. S. Eliot and W. H. Auden, or whether they are—in the words of a reputable critic quoted by Henry Treece in . . .

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Living, Sorrow & Grieving, Death

POET’S REGION Wales

SCHOOL / PERIOD Modern

Poetic Terms Elegy, Refrain

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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