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Ramble with Storm: Misery of fall mornings

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stormtight.jpg Mulling things on my morning ramble

with Storm, the family's mixed Lab.

Dylan Thomas died shortly after his 39th birthday.

The Welsh poet came to mind this morning, as he usually does for me about this time of year for the past several decades.

October and November pull me into a slide toward the darkness of winter.

Once again this morning, I found myself walking the meathead in morning darkness and muttering, ``Rage, rage against the dying of the light.''

It's the refrain line from Thomas' 1951 villanelle, ``Do Not Go Gentle into that Good Night.''

A villanelle is a tight form, as shown from this definition from

The highly structured villanelle is a nineteen-line poem with two repeating rhymes and two refrains. The form is made up of five tercets followed by a quatrain. The first and third lines of the opening tercet are repeated alternately in the last lines of the succeeding stanzas; then in the final stanza, the refrain serves as the poem's two concluding lines. Using capitals for the refrains and lowercase letters for the rhymes, the form could be expressed as: A1 b A2 / a b A1 / a b A2 / a b A1 / a b A2 / a b A1 A2.

From his point, it might have been better for Thomas have a pounding refrain of ``Rage, rage against the draining of the bottle,'' but I digress.

The tight form is perfect for driving home the two refrains of his poem. Even decades after first reading it, the refrains stick with me.

``Do not go gentle into that good night.''

Felt like freaking night this morning. It's been years since winter hit me really hard. But this morning it felt like the dark claws of winter were starting to rake me again as Storm and I walked. Not the cold, it was a relatively balmy light rain, but the darkness was thick.

``Rage, rage against the dying of the light.''

It seemed even danker and darker than usual, the light of dawn was barely sneaking in through the clouds when we rambled around the town pond and I found myself muttering the refrain repeatedly.

``Rage, rage against the dying of the light.''

It is a good thing I rarely see anybody on the distant corners of my morning rambles with Storm. Especially muttering like I was this morning.

So dark, I barely could spot the dozens of hedge apples littering the ground on the back side of the town pond.

The blue heron, which has flapped off from under the bridge over the neckdown between the two old clay pits most mornings this week, wasn't there this morning.

Maybe too dark.

Back in town, street lights reflected off small puddles on the street and sidewalk.

I'll leave it to others to wax whimsical about autumn.

I know dying plants when I see them.

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One of the reasons I went with the fine arts of painting and sculpture was because of my inability to retain words. But I have a very good visual memory.

There are times I wish I could remember the words. Recall all those wonderful things I've read.

I bet I could draw a pretty good rendition of the cover of the Dylan Thomas book where I first read that, even if I were hard pressed to quote him.

What did I just mention to you in an email the other day? Something about following the evolution of a certain writer I know over the past 12 years or so.

Something like that.

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This page contains a single entry by Dale Bowman published on October 13, 2011 11:57 AM.

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