Summary and Analysis of Light Breaks Where No Sun Shines by Dylan Thomas: 2022

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 travelled 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 Light Breaks Where No Sun Shines:

Dylan Thomas’s poem “Light breaks where no sun shines” is his interpretation of how hope arises in the darkest of the hours and how its powers can change a being from inside out. He focuses on hope to be a saviour that holds the capability to change things around. He speaks largely in favour of it and also encourages his readers into believing in its strength to change things around.

The setting of the Poem:

This poem is set based on the aspects of imagery and religion. Dylan Thomas has used a beautiful description of the way how each and every element in nature tries to inspire us in life that after every dark phase in our lives, the happiness arrives sooner. Hope is something which holds life together, which gives people a reason to live and continue life, which gives them a reason to keep going through the difficult times in life. Hope is something which feels like sunshine in the cold winters, hope is something which feels like blood rushing through the body from the skull to the top.

Poetic Devices in Light Breaks Where No Sun Shines:

Line 1: no sun shines;
Line 4: ghosts with glow-worms in their heads,
Line 6: File through the flesh where no flesh decks the bones.
Line 9: Where no seed stirs,
Line 12: Where no wax is,
Line 13: Dawn breaks behind the eyes;
Line 15:  Slides like a sea;
Line 16:  nor staked, the gushers of the sky
Line 20: Like some pitch moon, the limit of the globes;
Line 26:  On tips of thought where thoughts smell in the rain
Line 28:  The secret of the soil grows
Personification/ Metaphor:
Dylan Thomas is using “light” and “water” as a metaphor to hope and faith. The poet is trying to tell that hope breaks in only those times when a person has lost all his hope in the difficult times that he is in. The poet says that “light” breaks in only where there is no light, there is no hope in the heart of people, and water pushed in their tides, which means, it helps the person keep going only when he has given up. The sentence, “And, broken ghosts with glow-worms in their heads,” means that in the difficult times, when the mind of a person is filled with something wrong, a small ray of hope and goodness flickers in them.

The Style of Light Breaks Where No Sun Shines:

Light breaks where no sun shines; (A)
Where no sea runs, the waters of the heart (B)
Push in their tides; (C)
And, broken ghosts with glow-worms in their heads, (C)
The things of light (B)
File through the flesh where no flesh decks the bones. (A)

Summary of Light Breaks Where No Sun Shines:

“Light breaks where no sun shines” is a poem by Dylan Thomas that speaks about the belief that there is no logic or reasoning that we can apply to understand how hope works, or how it saves us from our problems. But contradictorily when it appears, it brings a person to feel all the best things of nature at one time. He cannot explain how it feels to have a ray of hope when everything around him seems to be drowning in sorrow and distress. But it feels like the most divine moment, where tears wet the smile of his lips. A single ray of hope feels like a wave of life running through the body when there is no reason for living remains.

Critical Analysis of Light Breaks Where No Sun Shines:

This poem by Dylan Thomas is all much different from his usual poetry. What makes this poem different from the rest is the fact that hope and religion working in Dylan Thomas’s favour. He has used beautiful words to describe the change in the human body drowned in distress, and how it raises of it with joy, and how his life and strength rejuvenates as he sees a single way of getting out of his problems, and when he gets a sign that everything happens and ends with good, only that it takes the right time to arrive. Until then, the poet describes how a person should hope on having hopes and wait until he sees a sign from God.

Central Idea of Light Breaks Where No Sun Shines:

Thomas uses beautiful imagery in this poem to express how it feels for a man when he suddenly gets a ray of hope in the midst of all the dark hours and struggles that he has been going through. The poet has used the parts of the body to express his thoughts and to show how it feels when a person in distress gets a single hope to get out of it. How a wave of joy passes through the entire body and the mind rejuvenates over the sign of a new hope.

The Tone of Light Breaks Where No Sun Shines:

The poem beings with Dylan Thomas using the elements of light and water to symbolise faith and hope that act as guides to control nature. He then speaks of hope through the expression of a candle that brightens throughout its life. The poet then expresses that difficult times are inevitable in life, but are only for times in our life, and are very limited when compared to the happy and joyful times in our life. He says that when your eyes are tired of looking for a single ray of hope through the dark times, the “light” rejuvenates your body, and brings warmth to your emotions. This hope is in the heat of the sun in a cold winter. He ends by stating that when God shows mercy, there is no logic that works to help us understand how it happened and why it has happened and he experiences it, it is not similar to any other feeling in the world.


Dylan Thomas conveys to his readers that hope is something which brings light to the dark minds, and helps the person to believe that all ends and happens for good. He wishes his readers to believe in the power that it can hold and expresses its advantageous effects on his aesthetic being through this poem.
Contributor: Deeksha Honawar

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