And Death Shall Have No Dominion

Monday, February 20, 2012


I was nodding off on a trans-Atlantic flight, grinding through endless 90's action flicks--only the occasional exploding car keeping me from becoming a drooling mess--when I came across this little gem of a film called Solaris.  The story moved pretty slowly at times, but overall is very thought-provoking.  Definitely one of the better sci-fi films I've seen--no aliens, no lasers, no bs.

The Dylan Thomas poem in Solaris really blew me away.  I'm not sure whether it celebrates the immortality of the human spirit, or implies the opposite.  Either way, this poem gives me some serious chills.  And we're not talking nerd chills here.

The "death shall have no dominion" refrain sounds like one praying for it to be true, all the while knowing it's not.  Do the religious-sounding contradictions show the spirit transcending maddness, suffering, and even death? Or highlight the futility of an existence where happiness is never without suffering?

And Death Shall Have No Dominion

And death shall have no dominion.
Dead mean 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


Post a Comment