Summary and Analysis of Death and Entrances by Dylan Thomas

Last updated on August 22nd, 2020 at 08:12 pm


About the Poet:

Dylan Marlais Thomas was a Welsh poet well- known for his strong literature. His most notable works include “do not go gentle into that good night” and “And death shall have no denominator”. He was also famous for his radio broadcasts such as “A Child’s Christmas in Wales” and “Portrait of the Artist as a Young Dog”. Born on 27th October 1914, in Swansea, Wales, Dylan left school at 16 to become a journalist for a short time, after which he got married and settled in the Welsh village of Laugharne. He later traveled to the United States and acquired his fame as a poet. On his fourth trip to New York City due to his deteriorating health, he fell into a coma and died on 9th of November, 1953.

Introduction to Death and Entrances:

Deaths and Entrances, a volume of verse by Dylan Thomas, demonstrates an affirmative and deepening harmony between Thomas and his Welsh environment. Using elemental and religious imagery, the poet looks with sympathy at the impact of World War II, particularly the bombing of London. The poetry is noted for its lyrical movement and is characterized by the rhythmic use of complex syllabic lines of variable lengths.

The Setting of Death and Entrances:

The poem is set around the trauma that London faced during the Second World War. Dylan Thomas explains the deep implications of the war that the country faced during these tough times.

Poetic Devices in Death and Entrances:

Line 5: fires of his flying breath,
Line 8: shoot and sing
Line 9: deepest down shall hold his peace
Line 12: In many married
Line 17: sun of another street,
Line 21: And wind his globe out of your water
Line 27: When near and strange wounded on London’s waves
Line 28: Have sought your single grave,
Line 33: shut the sun,
Line 35: that one loved least

The Style of Death and Entrances:

On almost the incendiary eve (A)
  Of several near deaths, (B)
When one at the great least of your best loved (C)
  And always known must leave (A)
Lions and fires of his flying breath, (B)
  Of your immortal friends (D)
Who’d raise the organs of the counted dust (C)
  To shoot and sing your praise, (D)
One who called the deepest down shall hold his peace (E)
  That cannot sink or cease (E)
  Endlessly to his wound (F)
In many married London’s estranging griefs. (E)

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Summary of Death and Entrances:

Deaths and Entrances offers a more searching examination of the poets ruling energy and the direction of his activity with the outbreak of the Second World War, the privilege as a poet also increases his anxiety and responsibility. Thomas seeks to integrate experiences and comprehend the nature of reality, and he also searches for a mode of release from mortal misery.

Critical Analysis of Death and Entrances:

Thomas’s style of writing was very unique. He uses a complex imagery is based on sources, including Welsh legend, Christian symbolism, witchcraft, astronomy, and Freudian psychology. His early writing is a bit difficult to understand due to the private myth he created. Thomas’s themes are very traditional, including love, death, and mutability, much like this poem.

Central Idea of Death and Entrances:

The central theme of this poem revolves around the aftermath of war and all the troubles that citizens of London. It narrates the grieving events that followed the World War II. He even manages to bring out the courage and grit of the soldiers that fought for London at that time.


Thomas’s poetry in this poem is mostly concerned with “introspective, obsessive, sexual, and religious currents of feeling.” His writing seemed to be as if he was arguing rhetorically with himself on the subjects, specifically “sex, and death, sin and redemption, the natural processes, creation, and decay.” Over the years, he passed from a religious doubt in God to joyous faith in Him. To attract his readers, he uses his mastery of sound, love for life, such as in this poem, to bring out the true aesthetics of the scenarios that he presents.
Contributor: Deeksha Honawar

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