Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Dylan Thomas


I should say I wanted to write poetry in the beginning because I had fallen in love with words. The first poems I knew were nursery rhymes and before I could read them for myself I had come to love the words of them. The words alone. What the words stood for was of a very secondary importance.
- Dylan Thomas
"On the Words in Poetry” from Early Prose Writings in Dictionary of poetic terms (2003)
Here are a few verses from one of the finest poems of Dylan Thomas.

Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Though wise men at their end know dark is right,
Because their words had forked no lightning they
Do not go gentle into that good night.

- Dylan Thomas
From Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night {1952}
Dylan Thomas is one of my favourite bards. Although he died at a young age, the Welshman left us a rich legacy of verse. He also bestowed upon us the beautiful Yuletide classic, A Child’s Christmas in Wales.  My favourite Dylan Thomas poems are Fern Hill, And death shall have no dominion and of course, his celebrated poem for his dying father, Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night.

Dylan Marlais Thomas was born in Swansea, Wales on October 27, 1914. If he were alive today, the great poet and writer would be 96 years old. Sadly, he died in New York City at the age of 39. He arrived in the Big Apple on October 20, 1953 to take part in a performance of his radio play Under the Milk Wood at New York’s Poetry Centre. He became ill in New York and died there on November 9, 1953.

To watch a video with Dylan Thomas reading Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night, click on the link.


Here are some thoughts in the aftermath of Toronto’s mayoral election. Yes, I am disappointed that Rob Ford has been elected mayor of our fair city. However, the people have spoken. That’s what democracy is all about. I don’t think it’s helpful to just dismiss him as buffoon or ridicule him. It is far better to determine why his simplistic message resonated with so many Torontonians.

Our city councillors have not set a good example of fiscal responsibility. Even if it’s a drop in the bucket, perception is everything. That is why many taxpayers feel they are not being respected. However, Rob Ford wants to throw out the baby with the bathwater.

Ridiculing Ford only serves to make him and his supporters more resolute.  However, by the same token, it is also not helpful for Ford’s adherents to label those who disagree with their man as “downtown elites."  Ford would do well to remember that he will be mayor of all the people, not just suburbanites and Toronto Sun readers.

I strongly disagree with Ford’s ideas. He doesn’t have a vision. He is a one-trick pony who repeats his “stop the gravy train” mantra ad infinitum. He wants to cut and chop like a mad lumberjack. He wants to bring out the wrecking ball. I wonder how he is going to do that without sacrificing the vital services we enjoy in this city. How is he going to cut taxes and pay for the subways he says he wants to build? Is he a magician? Sure, some new subways should be built, but we should not abandon our streetcars as Ford advocates.

Yes, there has been some wasteful spending. There should be better management of our tax dollars, but Instead of putting the city on a healthy diet, Rob Ford wants to starve this great metropolis. Or at the very least, his cuts may cause Toronto to become weak and anorexic. Finally, Rob Ford’s attitude toward immigrants is very disturbing to me. He says we don’t need any newcomers. However, he should remember that Toronto’s motto is “Diversity our strength.”



The Toronto Maple Leafs are back in the win column. After three successive losses, the Leafs defeated the Florida Panthers by a score of 3-1 at the Air Canada Centre last night.


The 2010 World Series begins today in San Francisco. The Giants have home field advantage due to the victory of the National League in this year’s All-Star Game. This “October Classic” will finish in November. That is much too late.  I agree with those who say that the regular season should begin a week earlier. Some of those ballparks in the northern U.S. can get quite frigid at the beginning of November. Of course, the next time the Blue Jays play in the World Series (I hope in my lifetime), we will be in the warmth of the dome with a retractable roof over our heads.

I am opposed to increasing the number of playoff games. I do not want Major League Baseball to become like the National Hockey League in which the playoff season seems almost as long as the regular season and the Stanley Cup Final is contested in June. I realize that several teams have not participated in postseason play for years and their fans are frustrated. We Blue Jay fans certainly understand that feeling. A solution must be found to deal with that, but the answer is not to expand the postseason as the NHL has done.

- Joanne

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